All staff at Cardiff University are to get a £250 thank you for their work during the pandemic,
In a letter to staff Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan praised the “extraordinary and selfless efforts of colleagues across the university” during the year.
He said he decided on the payment after intervention from a union representative when outstanding performance was being discussed.
“The truth is, just as the pandemic by definition affects the whole world, it has affected all our staff,” his letter goes on.
“We were persuaded that a one-off payment to all staff would be the right response, and that £250 per person, paid at the end of this month, would be an appropriate amount.”
Promotion processes and outstanding performance schemes have been re-introduced after being put on hold “ when it appeared that we may be facing financial disaster earlier on in the pandemic”, Professor Riordan added.
“However, enormous credit is due to Ms Katie Hall, Unison Branch Secretary, who wrote to me at the beginning of this month arguing that while OCAS and Celebrating Excellence are very welcome schemes, all staff who have worked on campus (Katie was referring to residences staff in particular) have gone more than the extra mile, for a much longer period than originally envisaged, and that in the interests of natural justice they should all be rewarded.
“We discussed this at some length in UEB and encountered some difficulty in distinguishing between the types of staff who should be in receipt of such a one-off payment.
“Many academic staff have come on to campus in order to teach of course, and when working from home many people have had to juggle childcare and home schooling with long days on Zoom.”
Thanking his staff in what he said had been a “uniquely difficult year” Professor Riordan cautioned that “there will doubtless be more tribulations to come before the pandemic subsides into the background”.
All staff will receive the payment at the end of this month.
Universities are currently planning for how the will operate next term. Cardiff has announced, along with some other universities, that lectures will remain online, but hopes are for more in-person teaching in smaller groups.
Hundreds of students at Cardiff and other universities had to self isolate in halls in the autumn term and most were told not to return to campus after Christmas during the third lockdown.
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