Can we have an update on the pay schedule decision?

QUESTION:

At last year’s webcasted Ask Exec session I asked about whether the pay schedule for the University could be changed to avoid the notion of five week months (like the one we have right now) and the answer given was that it was being looked into. Could we get an update on this please?

ANSWER:

The issue of moving the pay day was picked up as part of the remuneration policy consultation, undertaken at the beginning of this year. From this exercise there was little appetite to change the day we are paid and so therefore it was determined that it remained as it currently is. It was recognised that there was no ‘silver bullet’ to the question of payday, as there are pro and cons with whichever model is used.

Can industrial action salary savings be donated to charity?

QUESTION:
Union members wonder if, as a gesture of goodwill, and since we are approaching Christmas, Executive would donate a percentage of the salaries saved by members taking Industrial Action to a local foodbank or similar charity.

 

ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. The university has considered the request to donate some or all of the money withheld from the industrial action to a charity. However, given that all university money is derived from students, many of whom are themselves in challenging financial positions, it is felt that we should ensure that any money that is not spent on staffing on these days is channeled into our expenditure targeted at improving the student experience.

Did executive accept a performance related pay bonus?

QUESTION:
The UCU Exec Cttee would like to ask the following question in light of the ongoing pay dispute in HE and the upcoming industrial action. A quick answer would be appreciated.

On Exec QT the VC made clear he had taken only a 1% rise in pay, but the rest of Executive did not clarify their position on the 1% pay rise . The VC said that he had been offered performance related pay but had insisted on declining it.

Do other members of Exec get Performance Related pay / bonuses?
Have they accepted their PRP/bonus (unlike the VC)?
What percentage of their salary did they get as PRP/bonuses?
Do other senior managers such as Deans and Directors also get PRP/bonuses?
If yes, what percentage of their salaries did they get as PRP/bonuses?

 

ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. As many staff will already be aware, as Vice Chancellor I receive both a salary and a performance related pay element. Earlier this year the Remuneration Committee of the Board of Governors, as part of the annual salary review process of my role, sought to increase the level of pay. This they did, but in conversations with them I declined to accept the pay increase. Recently, the Remuneration Committee has considered my performance against a range of pre agreed targets and a performance related payment has been determined. This I have accepted, as it is a one off payment that does not add to the University salary bill like an increase in salary would. The performance related pay for my role is a maximum of 10% of salary – which is a maximum available – not the amount I receive.

Other members of Executive had historically not received any pay award for some years. This has now been addressed under my leadership. Last year it was agreed by the Board of Governors that the PRP scheme would be extended to them but at a lesser amount of a maximum of 5% of salary, against the achievement of pre agreed objectives. This was first put into operation for the academic year 2012- 13, with payments recently being made – none of these were at the maximum. The executive roles will also have the 1% cost of living pay award with effect from 1st December 2013, not 1st August 2013 as all other staff.

 

When will December pay day be?

QUESTION:
Hello

Please could you confirm the date of pay-day in December. Will it be the 18th Dec (the last working Wednesday of the month) or some other date (which reduces the day time gap between December and January pay days)?

Thanks

 
ANSWER:
Staff would normally be paid on the last Wednesday of the month, however, as this would fall on Christmas Day itself, the University has decided to bring this forward to Friday 20 December.

Why is there a distinction between ages for severance?

QUESTION:
A few years ago the University engaged in a very welcome move to abolish age discrimination, however I note with interest that one significant discriminatory provision remains, regarding managed severance. There appears to be a distinction between employees aged under 40 and those 40 + in the amount payable according to years of service , I would hope that the rates would be equalised prior to any severance being offered in the future.

 

ANSWER:
The University is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and would not knowingly discriminate on any grounds.

The paragraph in the managed severance scheme to which you are referring relates to the calculation of the lump sum payment for staff applying for managed severance. The calculation for the lump sum payment which is essentially a redundancy payment is based on the Government’s regulations for the calculation of statutory redundancy payments.

The Government has retained the age-related bandings for statutory redundancy pay and this is currently excluded from age discrimination legislation.

Could leave entitlement be reduced?

QUESTION:
I’d like to ask the Exec about leave. The University provides for an overly generous leave entitlement, which in the cases of many senior managers cannot be fully taken, during the course of a year, despite the ability to carry forward 5 days. In some instances leave is simply wasted, indeed some colleagues often use leave to work from home and will take calls, answer e-mails etc, whilst technically on leave. I wondered whether the leave entitlement for those on grade 8 or 9 and above could be reduced to a more manageable, but still very generous 30 days with perhaps a commensurate pro-rata increase in salary?

 

ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. Annual leave is an important part of the contract and allows colleagues time to refresh themselves and gain some work life balance. That being said higher education does enjoy a more generous annual leave entitlement to most other sectors and many colleagues do not utilise their full annual leave entitlements. Pay rates are determined at a national level through national bargaining arrangements and so currently it is difficult to transfer local terms and conditions across to areas determined nationally – on a swap or compensation basis. That being said, it is not impossible and we will look into this suggestion further.