Why does server maintenance have to take place at 6pm?

Question:
I manage the OMG radio station, and we have a real problem come 6 in the evening when the server maintenance occurs. I do not see why this has to happen? From what ive heard its an automated process so could it not feasibly be done when people are not in need of the service?

It affects are live stream, and people getting in contact, some of our most popular shows begin at 6 and the listeners get annoyed because their listening becomes interrupted. 
Is there anyway at all that this can be changed?
Answer:
Investigations will be initiated by Information Services into the problems being experienced by your listeners.  As part of this investigation the scheduling of routine maintenance activities will be reviewed.

When will a new lift be installed in the Brindley Building?

Question:

Looking on the “News and Events”, and indeed “Allstaff”, I see that once again the Brindley lift is out of action.  As usual, this is for an indeterminate period of time, and we all know that the lift is so out of date that it seems to be near impossible to get parts “off the shelf” for it.
 
Whenever it breaks down, it is out of action for anything from a few days to several weeks.
 
On at least 2 occasions in the last couple of years there have been planning notices posted on the campus regarding a new lift for Brindley, but nothing further has happened.  The sheer size of the building ought to mandate a second lift, let alone the fact that the existing one is hopelessly out of date, and appears to be increasingly unreliable. 
 
In order to preserve access for our mobility-impaired students and staff, please can you let us know when / if we are likely to see a new lift installed in the Brindley Building?

Answer:

The lift in Brindley is currently being assessed by an engineer to diagnose the fault. It is hoped that the lift will be up and running at the earliest time possible.
With regard to the lift situation more generally in Brindley, a bid for funding was made to the Investment Approval Panel in 2008 to increase the overall lift capacity and also allow the comprehensive overhaul of the existing lift. The Investment Approval Panel, is the mechanism through which investment bids are considered, prioritised and approved within the University. At the time of considering the investment bid, the possible knock on effects to the Brindley building from the University Quarter proposal had not been fully identified and the funding was not approved. Since then, the University Quarter development has been developed and it is clear that the Brindley building will remain. It is currently planned to incorporate a second lift into the future refurbishment of Brindley.

Octagon coffee machine rubbish

Question:

The recent addition of the coffee machine to the Octagon foyer does little to improve its image.  The bin provided with the machine is usually overflowing  with discarded cups.  Invariably the machine does not operate correctly, and its shelf is lined with spoilt cups of liquid.

I think it provides a poor show to  visitors and students.

Answer:

We have had teething problems on the coffee machine, and establishing a cleaning routine, this is now being stepped up and implemented. We have discussed earlier this week about putting in additional re-cycling bins, in the meantime we have put a temporary bin next to the machine. The problem we have is that people are using the machine bin as a general bin for example coke bottles and paper.

On a positive note we have had favourable comments on the additional availability of coffee, in particularly when the catering operations are closed.

We would welcome any other feedback, and comments if the situation does not improve.

Paying guest speakers

Question:

I’ve just been introduced to the universities process for making an application for payments to guest speakers and I feel the system is worthy of comment. I have to say that the request for the declaration for personal information, (national insurance number and date of birth in particular) are unnecessary, intrusive and far beyond the actual needs for the task that is being fulfilled.  Should they not be treated like any other service provided by professionals?  I think I’m right in assuming that other external services supplied by businesses do not have to go through the same procedure.  Is there not a straight forward invoice for services provided that could be used instead?
 
Answer:

Guest speakers are deemed as employees of the University at the time they are providing their lecture.  There are certain tests in employment law that determine whether an individual is an employee or not. In these circumstances, individuals fit the test that they should be classed as an employee.  The HMRC rules and regulations also have certain tests which indicate that these individuals should be classed as employees.  Therefore we require the information stated to pay them through the payroll. We appreciate that this may seem burdensome by the individual, however the University has no scope to step away from this requirement and indeed we are regularly audited to ensure compliance.

There is a separate process for supplying a service through a business, again determined by HMRC, which is dependent on the business satisfying certain criteria. Payments in these circumstances are not paid through the payroll but by invoice through Finance.  If anyone is in any doubt on the appropriate method to pay a guest lecturer, then Spencer Clarke, Personnel Services would be happy to advise on extension 2739.

Is it possible to set up a blood bank on campus?

Question

I give blood regularly and thought it would be a good idea to have a blood bank on each site to promote blood donation, especially on the Blackheath lane campus in the Faculty of Health.
Could this be facilitated at all?
It is a quick process that donors can do in their lunch breaks once every 16 weeks.

Answer

We regularly explore any health-related initiatives that we may introduce within the University and, as a result , have contacted the Blood Service to make some enquiries about whether blood donation could be carried here at the University.  We will certainly consider this matter further once we have received further details from the Blood Service and hope to work with them on supporting this great idea.

Why is payday always on a Wednesday?

Question:

I was keen to know the rationale for pay day being the last Wednesday of each month. This frequently causes havoc with people when we hit a ‘5 week pay month’, making budgeting often strained.
It would help a lot of us if payday were assigned a fixed date i.e. 29th of each month. Weekends would obviously affect this but would only give a 2-day variation.
Answer:

We believe the history of our payday being the last Wednesday of the month dates back to when we were on the local authority payroll. We have continued with their practice when we introduced our own payroll system.

The rationale underpinning the fixed day approach  was that a fixed day of Wednesday provides staff with an assurance that their salary will be in their bank accounts on that day.  If we were to select a fixed date eg 29th of the month and this fell on a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday, salaries would be delayed in hitting bank accounts as this is not a BACS processing date.  For example in January the 29th is a Saturday and therefore the salary would not be in people’s account until Monday 31st.  This may cause people more problems in budgeting with standing order etc especially where the money wouldn’t appear until the 1st of the following month which would happen in July this year.

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