Debate on proposal to lengthen teaching day postponed after pressure from UCU



A paper going to debate at Senate House proposing an extension to the working day has been postponed following pressure from the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU).

The proposal by the University is to end teaching at 7pm rather than the current 6pm. The debate was rejected by the Senate last year due to calls for a more thought-through proposal.

The paper was due to be debated on Monday 26th of February, a day when most staff members would be striking over the pensions dispute.

Related: everything you need to know about the upcoming strike action

In an email sent to University staff, the UCU said:

"UCU and staff generally have not been consulted on these proposals at all. We believe that these proposals are a further erosion of our work/life balance and will be deeply unpopular for both staff and students"

Following pressure, the University have decided to postpone the vote, but insist it will still go ahead.

The postponement comes due to large-scale industrial action taking place in the next few weeks (Epigram / Cameron Scheijde)

Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady said this to Senators and members of the Senior management team:

"This is an urgent issue given the unfortunate Fry Building fire and other immediate pressures. However, I appreciate that it also has important personal implications for some staff. With this in mind, it would benefit from the views of the full range of Senate membership.

"In view of current circumstances (including UCU industrial action), I have therefore asked that discussion of this item be deferred. I will be convening a special meeting of Senate for these purposes, to take place on a non-strike day, and will provide a date and time as soon as practicable."

The UCU were pleased that they could ensure that the full Senate could have a say over the proposals.

(Featured image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde)

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Cameron Scheijde

Co-Editor-in-Chief 2018-19 | Online Comment Editor, 2017-18 | Presenter and Founder, The Epigram Show on BURST Radio