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Resolution calling on the OVC to demonstrate its commitment to genuine consultation: 3rd of May 2017

  1. UCU Negotiating Committee calls on OVC to demonstrate its commitment to genuine consultation on the MARS document by:

 

  1. a) agreeing a schedule of meetings in May and June 2017 with UCU and UNISON representatives
  2. b) completing this schedule of meetings and considering all the points made by both unions before moving to implement any aspect of the document
  3. c) advising Deans, Directors and line managers of all staff of a) and b) above

 

 

  1. UCU Negotiating Committee calls on OVC to demonstrate its commitment to genuine consultation on ‘The Wolverhampton Academic’ proposals by:

 

  1. a) agreeing a schedule of meetings in May and June 2017 with UCU representatives
  2. b) completing this schedule of meetings and considering all the points made by UCU before moving to implement any aspect of the document
  3. c) withdrawing the VC’s videos from circulation
  4. d) advising Deans and line managers of academics of a) to c) above

Resolutions passed unanimously: Mutually Agreed Resignation Scheme (MARS) & ‘The Wolverhampton Academic’

As you can see below, we are expecting a formal response by May 22nd to the following two resolutions; this is in addition to the expected response to the resolutions that we informed you about yesterday, regarding the consultation process relating to the two documents.

UCU Regional Officials have indicated to us that until the OVC has engaged in meaningful and productive consultation with UCU, members should be advised not to comply with any of the initiatives contained within either of the OVC documents. Please get in contact with your UCU faculty rep if you come under pressure to do so. We will keep members updated on developments.

 

Yesterday, UCU Negotiating Committee notified the Offices of the Vice Chancellor of the following resolutions

which were unanimously passed at the emergency meeting of May 3rd:

 

UCU Negotiating Committee Emergency Meeting Wednesday 3 May 2017

Resolutions passed unanimously

  1. Mutually Agreed Resignation scheme (MARS)

UCU Negotiating Committee notes the contents of the Mutually Agreed Resignation scheme proposals and finds the document as it stands unacceptable. We believe that the intention of the employers is to bypass their legal responsibilities with respect to redundancy and avoid the requirement to consult with trades unions. We seek answers from OVC to the following questions as a matter of urgency so that we can report back to branches no later than 22 May 2017.

  1. What is the exact definition of ‘restructures’ on p. 1?
  2. What is the exact definition of ‘organisational change activities’ on p. 1?
  3. What will be the exact contents of the ‘Settlement Agreement’ on p. 2? Does it include a gagging clause?
  4. How will the avoidance of less favourable treatment (p. 1) be monitored?
  5. What are the financial and other benefits to the University of using this scheme rather than paying statutory redundancy?
  6. Would employees leaving the University under this scheme be better-off financially than if they were made compulsorily redundant?
  7.       Has the scheme been trialled already in any part of the University? If so, has it been evaluated and what are the conclusions of that evaluation?

 

  1. ‘The Wolverhampton Academic’

UCU Negotiating Committee rejects the Wolverhampton Academic paper and regrets that the intentions behind it were not discussed with UCU before the document was finalised and published to Deans, Associate Deans and Heads of Department.

Notwithstanding verbal assurances from Ian Oakes, the DVC who presented it to UCU at a meeting on 28 March 2017, that there is no intention to change lecturers’ contractual terms and conditions, the document needs substantial amendment before that claim can be justified.

We seek the following changes as a matter of urgency.  We are due to report back to branches no later than 22 May.

  1. All obligatory training to be accounted for under Non-specific Duties and not under SMRSA
  2. Confirmation that the definition of SMRSA is as contained in our contract
  3. The term ‘Enterprise’ to be removed from the role profiles section
  4. A peer system rather than a hierarchical system of classroom observation to be reinstated.
  5. The appraisal system to remain developmental and not judgmental
  6. The requirement to inform line managers when working off campus to be removed.
  7. The divisive and quasi-performance-related pay scheme on pp. 10-11 to be removed from the document
  8. The entitlement to 20 working days continuous leave between June and September to be explicitly protected

 

Sent on behalf of the UCU Negotiating Committee, University of Wolverhampton

Newsletter November 2016

2016NovUCUNewsletterfinal

Newsletter February 2016 and survey

Here is the Newsletter February 2016

You will read in the UCU newsletter about the very concerning levels of sickness at the University.  UCU have been pushing OVC and HR to act promptly to find remedies for this.  Please complete a short survey set by UCU to give your views on measures that would help to reduce sickness.  We will convey your views to the Safety Policy Committee in March, which has been convened to discuss this issue.

The survey is available on-line

The survey also asks or your views on the Faculty Administrative Review, the new academic calendar and your priorities for UCU.

UCU at the University of Wolverhampton denounce the threat of compulsory redundancy

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 16th June 2015
For immediate release

The University and College Union (UCU) at the University of Wolverhampton have condemned outright the University management’s decision to target Professors for redundancy. The Vice-Chancellor (VC) announced to Professors on 19th May that a restructure of the Professoriate had started at the University. The “Professoriate capacity restructure” paper states that, following the REF results, up to 19 Professors in 4 areas (Computing, Engineering, Built Environment, Law) will be made redundant by the end of July 2015, as their units of assessments have been deemed under-performing. This is a brutal attack on academic staff.

UCU met with the VC and the Director of HR and made it clear that to them that there is no genuine redundancy situation, as the tasks the Professors do will not vanish after they are made redundant. The Vice-Chancellor stated, ‘’this is not a cost-saving exercise’’, but gave the reduction in funding for the targeted areas, following the 2014 REF, as the reason for the ‘restructuring’. Senior management at the University have previously made commitments to contribute to the regional development of STEM subjects in the local area and further, and to drive STEM subjects forward as they have been seen to be neglected for too long. UCU express concern that the proposal to reduce the number of senior research staff in Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment is contrary to this strategy. Furthermore, it appears directly at odds with recent announcements that the University is investing £250 million in capital projects including new sites for the Built Environment and expansion of Engineering. These proposed redundancies are thus diametrically opposed to the investment strategy. Investment in buildings whilst disinvesting in senior academic leadership suggests people working at the university are of secondary importance.

When UCU raised concerns about the reputational risk to the institution of losing members of staff who are involved in, for example, research projects, work with local industries, and PhD supervision, the VC said, ‘we will manage the reputational risk’. The union asked senior management to reconsider but they are pushing ahead with targeting individuals with compulsory redundancy over the next few weeks.

Local contact details
Cécile Hatier (UCU City campus) c.hatier@wlv.ac.uk
Catherine Lamond (UCU Walsall campus) c.lamond@wlv.ac.uk

National contacts
Dan Ashley (UCU) 020 7756 2600; mobile: 07789 518 992; email: dashley@ucu.org.uk

Newsletter

Here is the 2014 July UCU Newsletter

 

Newsletter December 2013

Here is the latest 2013 December UCU Newsletter final copy

Working to Contract

From the 1st of November 2013 all members are being called to begin action short of a strike in the form of working to contract. Working to contract is action short of a strike but it is not breach of contract and it does not constitute partial performance. We are asking members to observe their contracts strictly and withdraw goodwill.

UCU have produced comprehensive advice about this on their website:

http://www.ucu.org.uk/workingtocontract

If you have any questions about this please contact your School rep in the first instance.

Faculty Consultation

October 2013

To aid faculty consultation, Wolverhampton UCU have drawn up a profile of who to contact in the proposed new structure. This is to be found on the page Know your Officers and Reps.

Newsletter December 2012

Wolverhampton City & Walsall Branch
Newsletter
December 2012

Dear member,
UCU would like to provide you with an update of what we have been up to during the first semester of the academic year 2012-13, and to request your comments for some on-going matters at University level. Remember that your first port of call is your school rep: the new list is available below, as elections were carried out in October. You may want to contact officers from your Branch or the Negotiating Committee if you prefer.

The UCU Negotiating Committee, Branch officers and School reps hope that you will have a relaxing festive break, and would like to wish you all a rewarding and fruitful year in 2013.

Who are your School reps?
SAD
John Clementson
Callum Ives
STech
Ruth Fairclough
Sue Gill
SAS
James Vickers
SHaW
Rachel Clarke
LSSC
Mike Cunningham (sem. 2)
Cécile Hatier (sem. 1)
Jennifer Hulme
Gill Outterside
Frank Wilson
UWBS
Lee Crofts
Barry Whitehouse
SEF
Mandy French
SSPAL
Anne-Marie Beaumont

UCU Negotiating Committee
Chair: Jim Davis (SAD)
Vice Chair: Ben Andrews (SEF, ILE & Academic Related)
Secretary: Cécile Hatier (LSSC)
Pauline Anderson (LSSC)
John Bergin (SAS)
Aidan Byrne (LSSC)
John Chorley (SEF)
Pauline Corbett (STech)
Lee Crofts (WBS)
Mike Cunningham (LSSC)
Ruth Fairclough (STech)
Amanda French (SEF)
Jane Harvey (SHaW)
Mike Haynes (WBS)
Manuel Hernandez (LSSC)
Catherine Lamond (SEF)
Moira Owens (SAS)
Gill Outterside (LSSC)
Penny Welch (LSSC)

UCU City Branch Committee members
Chair: Mike Cunningham
Vice Chair: Mike Haynes
Secretary: Aidan Byrne
Treasurer: Gill Outterside
Membership: Karin Dannehl
Equal Ops: Penny Welch
Health and Safety: Gill Outterside
Auditors: Chris Fullwood and John Dale
UCU Walsall Branch Committee members
Chair: John Chorley (SEF) Secretary and Membership: Ben Andrews (SEF)
Equality Rep: Catherine Lamond (SEF) Women’s Rep: Julie Hughes (SEF)

What’s happening nationally?
We have arranged for one of the 2 national UCU pensions advisors, Chris Mason, to provide members with information and guidance about the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). There will be sessions, on Wednesday 9th January, from 12pm till 1pm and 1pm till 2pm, WP003, SHaW Building, Walsall Campus. It is for members only. If you have specific questions you would like addressed please send them in advance to J.Harvey@wlv.ac.uk

UCAS have published their end-of-year report which shows a drop of 53,900 in student numbers. UCU have commented that the report shows the failure of the government’s higher education policies. http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6402

What’s happening at Wolverhampton Uni?
Safeguarding: Children on Campus: This policy has been discussed with but not agreed by UCU. It is however being implemented. Please ensure you understand what the implications are for you and pass your concerns to your UCU rep.

Academic Calendar Review: members’ various concerns about the academic calendar have been relayed by UCU, and the Corporate Management Team have now made recommendations to be discussed at Academic Board in January 2013. They are: an alignment of UG and PG calendars for first two semesters, with a third semester for PG courses; removing the requirement of long thin modules; move end of sem. 1 assessments to the start of January; allow 3 weeks for marking before beginning of sem. 2 or exam boards. UCU think it’s a major improvement, but it may entail some extra work for staff if they have to redesign year-long modules or revalidate PG modules.

University-wide attendance policy: Schools currently have their own attendance policy, and various ways of monitoring students’ absences. The Vice Chancellor has tasked his offices to design a university-wide policy which should be introduced in the second semester. UCU have voiced concerns about the new academic practices that may
result from this.

New STEM School: Following UCU’s queries, the VC stated that there are no planned redundancies following the creation of the new School and that the vast majority of staff will not have to reapply for their job. The new School can include non-STEM subjects, and there is no planned change to curriculum provision. The aim is to grow this area, not to shrink it. UCU made the VC aware that the perceptions of members were not so positive.

Major work to MB building:the building should be emptied by the end of March 2013 to allow major work for the creation of science labs for the new STEM School. The work is due to be completed for the Summer 2014. This will cause disruption and noise on City Campus South. Staff currently working in MB have been informed of their planned move, with RIILP moving to MC, whilst most parts of the International Centre and Gateway Services are transferred to a new “Student Hub” at the bottom of MX building. UCU will ask for details about the new student hub at our CUC meeting with the VC in January.

Move of Psychology to SHaW: In order to accommodate psychology staff in MH building the existing clinical skills labs will be moved to MC basement.

Review of ILE (Institute for Learning Enhancement): the review is led by Jane Nelson, and is due to be completed in March 2013, when Glynis Cousin, the director of ILE, will be retiring. It is unclear yet what will become of this unit. If members are concerned, they should be able to voice their views and get back to UCU if they feel they are not given a chance to make suggestions.

Review of CIDT (Centre for International Development): the review is led by Sir Geoff Hampton. It is unclear yet what will become of this unit. If members are concerned, they should be able to voice their views and get back to UCU if they feel they are not given a chance to make suggestions.

Staff survey: UCU contributed to the construction of the survey, and we should be involved in the action plan following the results of the survey in the New Year, as part of the People Strategy. Each school will also be requested to have an action plan.

Room use policing: You would have spotted earlier in the semester that Registry sent students with iPads to monitor room use. UCU complained about the disruption caused and was given guarantees that doors should not be opened during the class. The Deputy VC also stated that, despite threats of fines to school, no money changed hands at this level last academic year, though Schools were told what they could have been asked to pay. The rooming system is due to change next academic year, with the rooms being allocated to specific Schools.
UCU Negotiating Committee, December 2012.