UCU sets out five tests for a safe return to Scottish universities

The UCU in Scotland has set out five tests for a safe return to work at Scottish universities.

The tests set out requirements the union says need to be met so students, parents and staff can be confident of a safe working environment as lockdown restrictions ease.

The union is calling for the Scottish government, universities, students and the Scottish Funding Council to support its five tests before moving more staff and students back onto university campuses and into workplaces.

UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: “The safety of students and staff safety must be paramount if we are to counter the damage being done by the UK’s appalling record to date on Covid-19. We need assurances that health, safety and wellbeing are the top priorities before any return to university campuses can be considered.

“We need to have sustained reduction in Covid-19 cases, and infection rates, along with coherent plans for social distancing, comprehensive testing and contract tracing before we can contemplate any moves back to working on campus. It is vital that universities work with trade unions to agree university-wide strategies for a safe return which, crucially, includes protection for the vulnerable.”

The five tests proposed by UCU Scotland are:

  • Test 1: sustained reduction in numbers of Covid-19 cases and infection rates
  • Test 2: coherent planning for social distancing
  • Test 3: comprehensive testing and contact tracing
  • Test 4: university-wide strategies for safe returns and continuing health, safety and wellbeing
  • Test 5: protection for the vulnerable

 

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