When will the remaining workstream recommendations be known?

QUESTION:
The next phase of the review of the remaining workstreams is going on, e.g. Academic, Admin and Technical staff.

When will the recommendations be known and implemented and are there likely to be redundancies or offers of early retirements/severances?

 
ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. Workstreams 2, 3 and 4, will shortly be announced to Faculty staff – the final stages of each of the proposals are currently being completed. There will then follow a short period of consultation, and following this, incorporating any amendments we will move to implementation.

We hope to achieve this as speedily as possible to minimise the impact upon staff within those areas. Potential redundancies are not yet known, because this very much depends on the final structures and the impact that this then has on staff. You may well recall that both Michael and Ian said at the all staff roadshows that we would minimise any impact of redundancy wherever we could – for example redeployment opportunities. As with any restructuring process, if an individual wishes to explore the opportunity of severance from the University we will always give this due consideration and in accordance with our procedures.

Workstream five, professional support staff will be reviewed as part of the development of the student systems project which will take place over the next two years – when the first stage is implemented in approx August 2014. This too has been shared recently through all staff roadshows.

 

Would the University be better off by employing only sessional teaching staff?

QUESTION:
Would the University be better off by employing only sessional teaching staff, why pay for long summer periods when teaching (generally) doesn’t take place?

Award Leaders and senior academics could be maintained to ensure awards are ready for the next session, but all others could be moved to term time only contracts, thereby saving the University a huge amount.

 

ANSWER:
The University employs a range of teaching staff in order to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. This includes full time and fractional teaching staff, part time lecturers (hourly paid) and specialist lecturers in order to flexibly and efficiently deliver the curriculum.

All full time and fractional teaching staff are provided with an appropriate academic workload for the whole year which is more than teaching alone and are required to book annual leave in accordance with the annual leave policy which applies to all staff.

Growth and diversification of our academic provision to attract and retain a much wider student base and the planning of the delivery of our curriculum is central to our future success. The professional academic contract is much broader than teaching during two semesters and also encompasses development of the curriculum, opportunities to grow our enterprise and income streams, development of applied research, advanced scholarship activities, working with partners and Faculty responsibilities. It is therefore important that we employ staff throughout the academic year, supported by part time and specialist lecturers to provide the best experience for our students.

UCU 2012 occupational stress survey

QUESTION:
What is the response from the Executive regarding the UCU 2012 occupational stress survey and how they are going to address the findings relating to Staffordshire University?

 

ANSWER:
The recent survey undertaken by UCU was mentioned at the last Joint Union Management Committee meeting. Ian Blachford stated that he would wish to understand more about the survey and its findings, which he is now looking into. It is planned to discuss this further at the next Joint Union management committee meeting.

How often should staff PCs be replaced?

QUESTION:
Could you tell me the policy regarding how often admin staff should have their PC’s replaced? I’ve heard that it’s something like every four years but I’m pretty sure mine is significantly older than that.

The majority of people in my office alone all have very dated machine’s that aren’t fit for purpose. At a conservative estimate I lose at least 2 working hours per week due to the poor performance of my PC. I have continual problems such as waiting 10-15 minutes every morning for my PC to start up and be fully running, outlook, Skype, dropbox etc continually drop off the network on a daily basis, programmes are very slow to load up, and more often than not I get the white ‘not responding’ box in the top left of my screen when I save anything. All these factors means countless hours a year are lost. Not to mention the continual frustration of working with such poor equipment. IT have looked and taken some remedial action on my machine, but it’s a bit of a pointless exercise as the issues are largely due to the machine being very outdated.
 
The majority of people in my office experience similar difficulties so if it is a cost saving exercise not to replace machines then the cost of lost staff hours over the course of a year would probably far outweigh this saving.

 
ANSWER:
The University agreed a PC replacement policy via the Information Strategy Group in 2009  (relevant extract below) where it was agreed that staff PCs would be replaced every 5 years.

The University has asset management software which automatically locates any PC linked to the University network. This provides IS with information about the age of the PC and this is then used to determine which PCs are due for replacement each half year. It is routine policy for IS to check with faculties and departments to ensure that there are no PCs which are older than 5 years which have not been picked up for replacement by the automated process. If you feel that this is the case please contact 3800 or raise this within your own faculty or department.

 
Replacement policy:
PCs will be replaced on a rolling programme. The recommended replacement period is 5 years for staff PCs and 4 years for student PCs. A PC includes the monitor.
Funding applications are submitted on a twice-yearly basis by Information Services on behalf of the University.
PC replacements within student and staff areas will be identified via a central asset management database and included in a funding application.  The database will also identify equipment available for cascading within the University.
The University will provide staff with an appropriate device dependent upon job role.  It is anticipated that most staff will have one only.

Why can’t staff have access to enter the Science centre via the rear entrance?

QUESTION:
Apologies if this has been asked before and I have missed it but I’d like to know why staff cannot have access to enter the Science centre via the rear entrance?

As yet we have not been given a rational explanation. I understand that students should not have access for security reasons but this does not apply to staff as we can access that area to exit the building. It may seem a small issue but it would really make a big difference if staff could enter via the rear entrance as many of us teach in Ashley/Brindley and have just 10 mins change over time to get to our next teaching session and set up equipment (an extra 2 minutes to walk around the front of the building makes a difference when time is tight). Also the post room is located by the rear exit and it would make sense for us to be able to check post on our way into the building rather than having to make a special trip downstairs (sometimes three floors).

I have learnt today that staff for Stoke on Trent Sixth Form have access into the building via the rear entrance (I saw two staff members coming in when I was accessing the post room and they said they had used their Stoke College cards). Can you explain why Stoke College staff are allowed access through this entrance but not University Staff?

 
ANSWER:
The access strategy for the Science Centre is for staff and students to enter the building through the front doors. The rear door is only for deliveries and has not been designed for pedestrian traffic therefore the ramp and hard surfaces to the rear of the building are really only suitable for vehicles and occasional use. Some members of staff have access to this door because they handle deliveries or move equipment in and out of the building. Anyone who thinks they should have access should address this through their faculty management team.

Will the number of cycle stands on campus be increased?

QUESTION:
Are there any plans to increase the number of cycle stands on the Stafford campus?

The current provision of stands gets very crowded, and if the new parking plan increases the number of people cycling to work, there will be insufficient secure lock-up points.

 

ANSWER:
We have recently identified spaces for more cycle parking at Stafford and will be installing more cycle hoops very soon.

You can find out more on campus improvements at Shaping the Future

 

What will the impact of the new parking plan be on our neighbours?

QUESTION:
One of the natural consequences of the university’s new parking plan is that people will avoid using the university car parks by parking in the neighbouring residential areas.

What do members of Executive think will be the impact of this on relations with our neighbours?

 
ANSWER:
The local council are aware of our plans to manage H&S within our car parks and are supportive. We intend to continually monitor the effectiveness of our plans and any impact as a result. We are often criticised for allowing local residents to park on our car parks so by managing demand through the issue of permits, we hope to be able to make spaces available to those who need them.

You can find out more on campus improvements at Shaping the Future

Where will disabled parking spaces and toilets be located in the new campus plans?

QUESTION:
Looking at the plans of the building work being undertaken in and around the Brindley Building on Leek Road, there doesn’t seem to be anything indicating where disabled parking will be located for the Building after and during the renovation. As there are a few disabled staff, and students due to start and return in September will the disabled parking at the front entrance still be available? If not where is disabled parking being allocated? Please don’t suggest that the parking in front of Ashley is all that there will be as this is probably too far to walk for most disabled individuals.

Please could you also tell me if there are going to be more disabled toilets put in? Currently, there is one situated on the ground floor at the opposite end of the building to the lift, in a dark corner under the stairs as you come in at that end of the building. Not particularly accessible if you are in a meeting/tutorial on the third floor.

 

ANSWER:
As the landscaping programme progresses, we will be reviewing the designation and location of car parking spaces to ensure that the needs of all staff, students and visitors can be met safely and appropriately.

In the Brindley building, a new disabled toilet facility has just been completed on the ground floor. As part of the work that has just commenced, a new additional lift is being put in which will be operational by the end of February 2013. Following this, the existing lift will be fully refurbished.

You can find out more on campus improvements at Shaping the Future