Minutes of Branch Meetings

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting 04/05/21

Cambridge University Branch meeting held on 4th May 2021 via Zoom

Meeting started 13.00pm

Will Smith (Secretary), Vernon Schlegel, Robert Arrowsmith, Arsalan Ghani, Ian Miller, Mark Hurn, Theresa Jones, Paul Stokes, Andrew Moss( Chair), Roger Tattersall, Sally Koch, Trevor Brown, Dina Nayee, Peter Matlock, Craig Laurence, Dudley Simons, Rob Lindsey, Simon Dowe, Ian Millar.


Roger Tattersall, Emily Perdue, Trevor Littlewood, Cathy Salkield, Lori Klimazewski, Emma Lilley, Richard Boughey, Marion Reusch, Iain Morrison

Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting

Minutes approved

National/Regional matters

Arsalan Ghani reported

Pay Negotiations: Latest offer is 1.1% or £400 flat rate payment. Our negotiators are seeking flat rate £2500 plus creation of career development opportunities . The national pay survey is to be extended to all members within the sector. UCEA claim that Universities are still struggling in the economic climate.

Pensions: Changes are likely for USS and for the London SAUL pensions schemes

Government cuts : Unite to challenge cuts to Union Learning Funding.

COVID 19 : Noted that the government has not yet issued guidance for wearing of face masks when one to one teaching.

General Secretary election: Branch to post resume’s of candidates on the website. Extraordinary meeting and ballot to be arranged week commencing 17th May.

RISC : Proposed coffee morning meet up with other branches in the sector to be discussed.

Regional Committee: Cambridge University mentioned as good recruitment figures.

The region is organising 46 ballots for industrial action across all sectors. Most are due to low pay, though Fire and Hire tactics are also being challenged.

County Council elections are ongoing. Members urged to vote for Labour candidates.

Branch matters


No correspondence received


Reps are encouraged to take up an offer of online training


Branch membership has increased 10% in the last year


Cambridge Assessment – University Press merger

Branch to support colleagues in the University Press branch as they negotiate recognition in the merged entity


University to share progress of the Mutual Respect Policy this week

Health and Safety


A number of members had raised concerns about adequate ventilation of rooms in light of the COVID pandemic. The University Safety office has simplified further the Tool Kit guideline to enable staff to evaluate ventilation in a room. Concerns from the floor that this may force people to share smaller offices with colleagues who may be infected.

University employees who wish to use Lateral Flow testing need to apply to their GP or local chemist. The University provides and records tests of students.

Noted that the tests are unreliable. False positives.

Job Evaluation

No news

Social Media

Branch thanked Rob Arrowsmith and Mark Hurn for the sterling work they have put in to create a new website ( )and to maintain the branch twitter account @unite0775M. Branch also has a new email account :[email protected]

Agile working

Roger and Theresa attended a discussion with HR concerning this. Noted: Agile working was first introduced in the IT industry and was billed as working “ anytime, anywhere, anyhow”

The University is looking more at flexible working ( but calling it Agile working). It is early days. The idea is to have an informal, non contractual, agreement which allows staff who want to, to work from home several days a week. Could possibly be used as a benefit to recruit new staff.

Concerns: Could this be abused? Days changed at whim by management. Or employee? Not everyone can enjoy it. Largest saving would be travel. A large number of low earners have to work in the workplace. No savings for them. This saving may be offset by the costs of heating etc at home.

It is very obviously “early days” and more discussions are needed.

Forthcoming Workplace Action Group Meetings

Reps Meetings every Wednesday 12.00 – 13.00 n

Safety Reps meetings every Thursday 12.00 – 13.00

Social Media meetings every Friday 12.00-13.00

These meetings are via Zoom and are open to all branch members


None received


Arsalan reported from the Cambridge TUC: The TUC had held a Kill the Bill demonstration on May 1st

Date of next branch meeting JUNE 7th 2021

Meeting closed 2.15pm

WHS 10/5/21