SUCU Branch News 8 Jan 2015

Next Branch Meeting Wed 28 Jan 1pm Council Chamber, Octagon Centre

All members are invited to attend.  Under discussion will be the pensions dispute, local pay and performance management, and we have a speaker from Sheffield College. Beverages will be served at 12.45.

Please be prepared – USS dispute marking and assessment boycott may restart on 16th Jan

The UCU Higher Education Committee meets on 14th Jan to consider a progress update from the negotiators and to decide whether to restart the boycott.  You will recall that the marking and assessment boycott was suspended until 16 January 2015.  We have been informed by HQ that to comply with legal requirements, UCU has served a fresh notice of industrial action on the employers.  We will keep you updated.

Local pay and performance management

We have reported previously that SUCU together with the other campus unions are in ongoing discussions with management about SRDS and ‘reward and recognition’. Management are putting brief updates on the HR website.

At this stage we have broad agreement on the main points apart from incremental pay progression.  Discussions affecting pay continue to be on the basis of the ‘Framework Agreement’ underpinning our current pay structure.  In particular regarding incremental pay progression this says, ‘Staff will have a normal expectation that progression from point to point up to the exceptional threshold will take place on an annual basis, subject exceptionally to existing procedures for dealing with performance problems, when increments may be withheld. Accelerated incremental progression, including progression into the exceptional range, will reflect sustained exceptional contribution by the job holder.’  Come to the Branch Meeting on 28 Jan 1pm to hear more and join the discussion.

Anti-bullying and harassment campaign

Our joint union anti-bullying campaign continues.  We previously reported that as well as raising awareness through anti-bullying campaigning we are working with the HR team to develop new policies for the University on this theme. We will have an update on this soon along with an invitation for members to have an input, and to attend other informative events.
Members may be interested to read this Guardian article 16 Dec – Struggle for top research grades fuels bullying among university staff:
  • More than half of university staff say recent policy changes have caused an increase in bullying – and that institutions aren’t doing enough to tackle the issue
  • 81% of Russell Group university members said REF has had a negative impact on bullying.
  • The fevered build up to this month’s university research audit has exposed academics to an atmosphere of competitiveness and bullying, according to a survey by the Guardian’s higher education network.

More useful resources:
What to do if you are being bullied or harassed – advice for UCU members Cyber-bullying: the invisible hand of bullyingIf you believe that you are being bullied, the chances are, you are,  Ban bullying in Education flyer

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