Dear Oxford UCU member,
Oxford UCU heavily relies on the efforts of a team of hard-working caseworkers, who are all volunteers, and assist our members with problems ranging from harassment and bullying, to redundancies, regrading, and restructurings. They are able to affect real change in the lives of our members.
Unfortunately, as you will no doubt have heard, the Oncology department is facing a large number of redundancies and, along with more general issues thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in a situation where we need to recruit more caseworkers than ever before.
We are approaching the increased caseload in a systematic way, to ensure new and existing caseworkers are supported. We have set up a schedule of casework surgeries, where new recruits can shadow more senior caseworkers. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about casework and to provide assistance in a structured environment. We also hold weekly caseworker meetings where we share experiences and seek advice from one another. Additionally, we have put together an Oncology working group which is leading the union’s response and can help advise on procedure and policy. We expect that the Oncology redundancy casework will mainly involve supporting colleagues at meetings with HR, including note taking, and feeding into the working group’s activity.
Having more recruits to take on roles like this at this time is crucial for our team to be able to continue to serve our members.
We urge anyone who would like to try out casework to get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, even if you are only available for limited amounts of time through the end of 2020. If we could get a number of recruits to commit to even one casework surgery meeting a month, that could be transformational for our ability to handle the increased caseload at this time.
Aris Katzourakis (Oxford UCU Co-President) & Mikal Mast (Oxford UCU Casework Co-Ordinator)