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Seasonal mixed messages
chap
nmg

As ias mentioned yesterday, we've been told that the University is going to be closed on Monday (the Highways Agency have nabbed our grit, so campus is likely to be pretty treacherous). The mail from the Registrar read as follows:

Please be aware that the University will be closed on Monday 11 January. This decision has been taken, due to safety concerns arising from a depleted supply of grit. [...] Please be assured staff will not lose any pay or leave as a result of this closure day.

On the other hand, the mail from my Head of School read:

The University is officially closed on Monday [...] the strong advice is to stay away on Monday and work from home.

The usual practice for University closure days, which are typically public holidays but also include the period between Xmas and New Year, is that there is no expectation that staff should be working (at home or otherwise). Why should this be different?

I also overheard some Estates staff talking outside the Nursery when I picked the garklet up yesterday - apparently, they were sent home on Wednesday. This clearly explains why many of the paths around campus (particularly the steep paths between Physics/Geography and the rest of campus) hadn't been gritted on Thursday morning when I was struggling to get across campus for a 0900 lecture.


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Actually Closure Days are defined as holiday in everyone's contracts as days on which the university is closed and they are not expected. They are in addition to annual leave allowance. If a member of staff has to work on a closure day, for example due to maintaining a critical system or feeding the animals in the animal house, then they can claim that time back as extra annual leave. However if a member of staff who does or have a critical role chooses to work on a closure day, they cannot claim that time back - it is the same as them choosing to work at the weekend or during their annual leave.

The Registrar chose to call Monday a Closure Day, I am sure he had not done this without thinking about the consequences. That Nick's Head of School seems fit to have contradicted the Registrar by telling staff to work at home (which most acdemics would do anyway but then they frequently work 'out of hours' by choice) does seem rather odd.

If Closure days are defined in the Contract, then I agree that changes the issue.

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