Minutes of Branch Meetings

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting Held On 12/04/21

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch meeting held on 12th April 2021 via Zoom

Meeting started 13.00pm

 Will Smith, (Secretary), Vernon Schlegel, Cathy Salkield, Robert Arrowsmith, Arsalan Ghani, Brendan Nightingale, Ian Miller, Mark Hurn, Saira Law, Lori Klimazewski, Theresa Jones, Paul Stokes, Andrew Moss( Chair), Emma Lilley


Roger Tattersall, Emily Perdue, Trevor Littlewood,

Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting 

Minutes approved

National/Regional matters 

Pay dispute: Andrew Moss (AM) has retired from the National Sector Committee. light of COVID-19, the universities continue to say there will be no pay rises for this year. This is despite  Universities nationwide finding themselves in a good financial position. Unite remains in a dispute, which was registered in 2020. We understand that 2021 negotiations should now be taking place

Branch matters


No correspondence received


Reps are encouraged to take up an offer of online training


AM is retiring as Branch Chair in July 2021.The Branch Secretary thanked him for his tireless work over several decades, both as Branch chair for UNite AM and as the President of the Association of Cambridge University Assistants (ACUA). Andrew managed the merger between ACUA and the Cambridge University Branch of Amicus, which later became Cambridge University Unite the Union. 

Branch officer Elections have again been postponed. They may take place in September

WS mentions that the branch is also looking for people to become active in other ways; as safety representatives, teaching representatives, and equal opportunity representatives 


Cambridge Housing Development

(carried over from last meeting) 

There is a new housing project being proposed by the university in the Laundry Farm area on the southwest boundary of town.WS invited members to read the news in light of the way that the Northwest development has come along in terms of affordable housing:


(carried over from last meeting)

University HR are soon to launch the new Mutual Respect at Work Policy. Unite has been very involved in its creation. It is hoped that the new policy will help to address the University wide high level of bullying that was identified in the 2016 Mutual Respect Survey

Health and Safety

A quick survey was done to see who was working on site and from home. Roughly two-thirds of attendees responded that they were working from home. Many are working partially on-site and at home. 


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. 

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]

Questions from the Floor

Annual Leave 

(carried over from last meeting)

In response to a question from a member about being pressured to use leave, there was a discussion about clarifying the university’s policy on deferring annual leave. HR in some departments have been seeking out ways to encourage staff to use up their annual leave during lockdown believing that when travel is possible, staff will be tempted to all use their leave at the same time. To prevent this, some universities have forced staff to take one out of every seven working days as a leave day. Unite has suggested a compromise proposal to ensure everyone books a specified number of days leave by a certain date. Work or family commitments may mean that this is still inappropriate for some members. Members are advised to seek assistance and support from the union if this is the case. [email protected]

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


No other business

Date of next branch meeting JUNE 7th 2021

Meeting closed 2.15pm

WHS 17/4/21