Last Wednesday evening (25 March), UQ Staff received an email from UQ’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC supporting the Federal Government’s request for each of us ‘to do our bit’ and make the necessary adjustments in our day-to-day lives. In particular, they have asked that we stay at home, and whenever possible to work from home.

UQU Retail and Hospitality Operations

In the interest of complying with the Federal Government’s request and maintaining the health and safety of our staff, UQ Union has made the hard decision to temporarily close all of our retail outlets. Foot traffic on campus has been almost non-existent since this announcement was made, so we are not expecting this closure to cause much inconvenience to the extremely small numbers of students and skeleton staff that remain on campus.

UQU Staff

UQU welcomes the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating effect on employment. The JobKeeper Payment will enable UQU to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying many of our employees. UQU should be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of 6 months.

Eligible employees include Australian citizens, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder. Full time and part time employees, including stood down employees, would be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Where a casual employee has been with their employer for at least the previous 12 months they will also be eligible for the payment.

UQU is developing a plan to ensure all eligible staff will be able to access this payment, ensuring we can provide some level of employment security for as many of our staff as possible.

UQU staff and elected students are busy developing plans to enable us to continue supporting students remotely and online, as maintaining student support services in these challenging times is our number one priority.

Student Advocacy and Support

Our approach to the uncertainty we all face in the coming months is reduced face-to-face campus support services such as Student Advocacy and Support as far as possible, while still maintaining the same high levels of service to our students.

Student Advocacy and Support services will continue to be available by phone and skype.  Just make an appointment online as you normally would by going online to https://www.uqu.com.au/supporting-u 

We will be following the advice of the State and Federal governments, as well as Qld Health to inform this transition.

Other UQU Support Services

UQU elected students and managers are developing ways in which the complete suite of UQ Union services can be delivered remotely or online to students. Check our website and social media for updates.

Thank you for your support and loyalty. If you have any questions, please contact uqunion@uqu.com.au and we will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.

UQU Service Delivery

AS AT 27 MARCH 2020

Glenn Porter

Managing Director