Academic Promotions Round 2018 at SAS

In late 2018, we submitted a number of queries to management in response to feedback from members about the Academic Promotions Round 2018.

We understand that the criteria for promotion in 2018 required candidates to demonstrate “excellence” in two of three areas rather than in one of three areas as required by the previous policy. This seemed to us as a significant change to the criteria for promotion, and we argued that this should have triggered the application of the Change Management Policy. The policy had already been launched for a couple of weeks by the time we made this challenge. However, we sought a reassurance from the University that this would not happen again. In response to this, the University has agreed to meet with UCU to discuss concerns in advance of the 2019 policy being released. We will be in touch with members before any meetings to seek representations.

Additionally, we requested data on the total applicants in the promotion round and total applicants that progressed to stage 2 of the process for each of the last three years. We understand that this informtion is currently being compiled.

We would welcome questions/comments from members.

Membership for part-time staff/those on fractional contracts

We have recently been asked to provide information about membership subscriptions rates for prospective members not on full-time contracts. We’ve consulted with our national membership office.

Subscription rates are calculated by looking at your total earnings, rather than the nature of your contract. The subscription band should reflect anticipated earnings during the year (or a multiple of monthly salary times 12 for those on temporary contracts) before tax.

Branch priorities for early 2019

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In this post, we list the Senate House branch’s priorities for the next few months. These were identified following the first meeting of this year’s branch committee on 7 Jan and during discussion of a motion at a well-attended branch members meeting on 22 Jan.

  1. USS pension dispute – identify opportunities to keep the dispute on the radar of senior management
  2. London Weighting – continue campaigning work on this important pay equality issue
  3. In-housing – hold the University to commitments made; first of all, the in-housing of reception, AV, post and portering colleagues in spring/summer 2019
  4. Casework – provide high quality advice for UCU members
  5. Increase awareness of equality and the law in the workplace at the University
  6. Take action on pay equality and casualization
  7. Lobby for UoL to support colleagues and students from EU countries affected by Brexit.
  8. Take action to normalise union membership
  9. Increase UCU membership at the branch
  10. Make better use of the existing channels of influence we already have as a branch

If you have any questions or comments about this post, please email the branch committee. UCU members can also request a copy of the finalised motion that led to this post.

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EU settlement scheme: joint statement by UCU and UNISON Senate House branches

UCU & UNISON

 

Following persistent lobbying by UNISON and UCU over a number of months, we were pleased to note the University of London’s announcement on 18th January that it had agreed to reimburse the £65 application fee for colleagues who are EU nationals applying for settled status under the government scheme.

A few days later, the UK government announced that the £65 application fee was being waived.

On this issue, we will now ask the University to ensure that any colleagues who have already gone through the application process as part of the pilot scheme are made aware of the fact that the Government intends to reimburse them – see https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.

UCU and UNISON branches at Senate House, University of London

EU settlement scheme

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Since the result of the EU referendum in June 2016, we have been urging the University of London to explore steps to support colleagues who are EU nationals potentially affected by Brexit.

In recent months, our discussions have shifted to give particular emphasis on the opportunity for the UoL to follow in the footsteps of many other UK HE institutions in funding the £65 settled status fee for colleagues with EU passports. This was formally debated at the Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee (JNCC) on 13 November 2018.

Already in 2019, we have received many enquiries from UCU members wanting to know where we are with this. Even if 100 of our colleagues decided to apply for this funding from UoL the total outlay of £6,500 is small, especially in response to a referendum result that colleagues with EU passport had no agency in.

We will continue to press for action on this.

A tool you can use to evaluate your stress levels

ayo-ogunseinde-202302-unsplashWorkplace stress is, in our view, one of the main health and safety issues faced by UCU members, colleagues who work in higher education and the wider workforce in the UK.

There are objective ways you can measure your own stress levels. One of these is a handy tool issued by the Health and Safety Executive. It’s a questionnaire you can use to reflect on your own stress levels. Download and complete it by clicking here. This tool is widely recognised, including by the University of London within its Occupational Stress Management Policy.

If you find yourself answering ‘always’ to many of the questions, we would recommend that you get in touch with your UCU rep for further advice about your options.