AUCU COVID-19 impact report
Data reported are accurate on 16 April 2020.
COVID-19 has presented us all with a once-in-a-lifetime challenge. AUCU were keen to understand what the real-world impact has been on staff at the University of Aberdeen. We therefore conducted a brief survey to gather information that might inform AUCUs strategy about matters affecting our members and non-members who we represent.
In order to do this, we emailed AUCU members a link to the survey. Additionally, we emailed some members of staff who have access to mailing lists asking if they will help to disseminate, and encouraged sharing of the survey to colleagues to help reach non-members. In total 56 members of staff completed the survey (as of 16 April 2020). Of these, 29 (52 %) were on casualised contracts. Therefore, it is likely these data are not fully representative of the entire University of Aberdeen staff population under AUCUs remit, but they do nonetheless represent valid experiences of those who completed the survey.
- Commendation of SMT for their rapid response, clear communications, and empathetic messages regarding workload expectations
- A concern for job security, particularly as contracts are due to come to an end, and the job market has collapsed
- Financial concerns, related to both job security, lost work/pay, and the increased costs of working from home
- Issues surrounding working conditions, equipment, internet connectivity, etc whilst working at home
- The impact on workload (namely that it has increased) combined with lower productivity and more difficult working conditions
- General concern for mental health and wellbeing, in particular related to the abovementioned issue.
You can see the report here. For brevity, not all themes have been reported in this document, but a full report can be provided on request to AUCU on firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Contact Information from local MP
NO SYMPTOMS BUT LOOKING FOR GENERAL ADVICE (SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT)
- Scottish Government helpline: 0800 028 2816.
Open daily from 8am – 10pm
- Also Google “NHS Inform coronavirus”
If you have symptoms
- Call 111 if you need advice. You can call this 24 hours a day. Do not call your GP practice
- Use NHS inform if you need a sick note – do not call 111
- TAX CONCERNS (UK GOVERNMENT)
- HMRC helpline: 0800 0159 559
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.
- SCOTTISH BUSINESS OWNERS – ADVICE (SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT)
Scottish Enterprise helpline: 0300 303 0660.
Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 5:30pm
IMMIGRATION ADVICE (UK GOVERNMENT)
Home Office helpline: 0800 678 1767
Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Age Scotland: 0800 12 44 222
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm
Shelter Scotland:0808 800 4444
Opening hours are Monday-Friday 8am-8pm; weekends 8am-5pm
GENERAL SUPPORT FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
- Parentline Scotland: 0800 028 2233
Opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm; weekends 9am to noon.
SUPPORT FOR SINGLE PARENTS
- Lone Parent Helpline: 0808 801 0323
Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm
SUPPORT FOR PARENTS OF DISABLED CHILDREN
- Contact: 0808 808 3555
Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5pm
HOMESCHOOLING / EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT
- Literacy resources for ages birth to 12: https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/
Online advice on managing the impact of Covid-19 on their child’s learning and family life: parentclub.scot
PEOPLE WITH LOW MOOD, DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY:
- Breathing Space Scotland: 0800 83 85 87
Opening hours are Monday - Thursday 6pm to 2am; Friday 6pm - Monday 6am
- SSPCA: 03000 999 999
Opening hours are 7am-10pm every day
- From Thursday 19th March, people receiving benefits do not have to attend job centre appointments for three months.
- Fit notes will not be required for people who need to claim ESA Universal Credit because of coronavirus
- Jobcentres remain open and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.
ESA / UC
- New ESA claimants who are diagnosed with or are staying at home on Government advice due to coronavirus will have money for the first 7 days of your claim included in their first payment.
- People diagnosed with or staying at home on Government advice due to coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit, and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre
- People diagnosed with or staying at home on Government advice due to coronavirus, will not be sanctioned, but must inform the DWP in good time.
- If you need to provide evidence to your employer that you need to stay at home due to having symptoms of coronavirus an Isolation Note can be obtained from NHS 111 online. If you live with someone that has symptoms, an Isolation Note can be obtained from the NHS website
- Statutory Sick Pay will be payable if you are staying at home on Government advice, not just if you are infected by coronavirus. This will apply from 13 March 2020.
- People diagnosed with or staying at home on Government advice due to coronavirus, will have the work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness
INFO FOR STUDENTS
Aberdeen University Students’ Association, in partnership with the University Aberdeen Student Advice & Support Office administer a discretionary fund for EU and international students who find themselves in times of unexpected financial hardship.
Given the wide range of matters which can affect a student’s financial situation, they do not set a strict definition of hardship or its causes.
Please contact AUSA Advice who can provide more information on the fund and application process.
The focus is now on ASOS (Action Short of Strike) and keeping pressure on employers by working to contract. Under the ASOS mandate UCU asks members to:
- work to contract
- not cover for absent colleagues
- not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
- not undertake any voluntary activities.
It is worth familiarising yourself with the extensive guidance on ASOS on our action centre webpage and making sure that members are also aware of this resource:
- general FAQs here
- work to contract FAQs here
- please post to social media using #UCUasos
- the library of advice for both HE disputes is on the UCU website here, including the FAQs and legal advice for industrial action.
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