Every year during our Annual General Meeting, QMUCU members come together to elect the new Branch Committee. While you can run for any position, there are several roles in the Committee which are vacant. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many of the existing crises the higher education sector has been experiencing over the past years. Now more than ever, we need a strong committee filled with motivated members.
When you join the Branch Committee you will be able to access UCU training to learn about being a rep. The Branch Committee is given facilities time from the university for certain activities, which is shared by the all of the committee members. Our Branch Committee consists of many different roles. These roles do not have to be filled by one person – they can also be shared. Most of your work on the committee will be decided by yourself. There are only a few things which everyone is expected to do, such as participating in the weekly branch committee meetings and completing the UCU Rep 1 training. While some activities are covered by facilities time – such as participating in meetings with the Senior Executive Team, completing UCU training, and doing casework – being a rep is mostly a voluntary position. This means you will not be expected to do more than you are able or have time to do. The Committee members also understand that everybody’s availability may fluctuate during the year (for example if you are a casualised staff member or a PGR). If that is your situation you are still very much welcome and encouraged to stand.
Nominations are welcome from all members, experience notwithstanding, and members who identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or Global Majority are particularly encouraged to stand for positions. If you are interested to become a rep, email Chris Hurley (email@example.com), the branch administrator, or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also simply attend the AGM and raise your hand to nominate yourself.
The following rep positions are currently either vacant or can be shared and are open to further nominations. The role descriptions indicate what kind of tasks you might be involved with when taking up the role.
Health and Safety
- Investigating hazards to the health, safety and wellbeing of staff
- Representing staff in meetings and communications with management regarding health and safety matters
- Requesting and receiving information about health and safety issues and incidents
- Attending meetings of local safety committee and the Health and Safety Advisory Group
- Reading and commenting on risk assessments, new health and safety policies and procedures
- Attending relevant training in health and safety.
- Paid time off as necessary for carrying out the above roles (this is calculated outside the regular committee facilities time)
Membership and Recruitment
- Maintaining updated lists of membership across different departments and areas of the University
- Updating the local QMUCU email lists
- Exploring membership density across the University
- Coordinating recruitment strategies and plans
- Working with the departmental rep network to identify local issues
- Offer a local point of contact for any pensions concerns members have
- Engage with local and national negotiation and consultation processes
- Organise forums that explain any changes made to the USS Pension Scheme
- Promote equality with the employer by looking at issues around flexible working, absence management, discriminatory practices, equal pay, equality impact assessments
- Represent staff on non-permanent and casual contracts
- Campaigning for university wide changes to reduce Queen Mary’s reliance on casual contracts
- Represent members who identify as Black, Asian or People of Colour
- Liaise with the Anti-Racism Working Group to develop any university wide or QMUCU anti-racism policies
- Organise anti-racism workshops or training for QM staff and students
- Represent members who hold a migrant status
- Assist migrant members with any immigration issues that might arise in the workplace
- Represent members who are postgraduate students
- Liaise with QM students, student groups and the Student Union maintain communication and shared understandings on joint issues