In a very well-attended General Members’ Meeting on 22 May 2020, BUCU members voted to pass a motion setting out their strongly-felt objections to the University of Birmingham’s proposed teaching plan. Members were particularly concerned about a lack of consultation with students and staff, and the implications of the proposed plan for workload and equalities.
The full text of the Resolution reads:
This Branch condemns the lack of consultation of staff that has gone into drafting the Framework for Educational Resilience 2020-21. This appears to be an attempt by the University management to push forward a significant restructuring of the entire long-term teaching provision of the University of Birmingham under the guise of responding to the Covid crisis. We are especially concerned about the impact on:
- teaching quality and the move towards very limited module choice for students;
- staff resources and the potential waste of staff expertise through team teaching;
- equalities issues that do not appear to have been properly considered, particularly given the likely disproportionate impact on staff with protected characteristics, and carers, especially regarding health and safety, and changed teaching provision;
- the implications for current fixed-term and casualised staff;
- the impact on research time and contractual duties.
The branch resolves to campaign in opposition to this proposal, including by alerting the press to the issue, to insist that the University of Birmingham enter into meaningful consultation with UCU, and for any response to the Covid crisis to be done with the agreement of BUCU as the recognised union representing all academic and academic-related staff at the University of Birmingham.