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

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