University staff are moving towards confronting their leaders after the revelation that the government’s scientific advisers called for teaching to move online at the start of the academic year last month.
University and College Union members at the universities of Sheffield and Newcastle are the latest to call an emergency meeting after lodging a formal grievance, joining branches at the universities of Birmingham, Leeds and Warwick in dispute with their leadership over the handling of coronavirus outbreaks.
Other campus staff represented by Unison are said to be angry at having to deal with threats and abuse from frustrated students trapped in isolation.
An estimated 110 UK universities have reported cases of Covid-19 outbreaks, with around 15,000 students and staff infected so far, since the term began just four weeks ago on some campuses.The University of Nottingham alone has reported 1,500 active cases among students at the end of last week, out of its 35,000 students enrolled, along with 20 members staff. The week before just 400 cases had been reported.