Does the University employ a Unison local organiser? Or does Unison pay his salary?
Both UNISON and UCU have an allocation of hours, based on membership numbers, agreed on an annual basis to be used in support of union duties at the University.
The UNISON Branch does have a Local Organiser attached to it, and his salary is paid by UNISON
In discussion with the University, UNISON have chosen to use some of their allocation to support a full time representative, who is a member of staff. This has been very effective in re-energising the UNISON branch.
The consultation process resulting in the decision to close for one or two extra days around the Christmas period was very much a divide-and-conquer exercise: members of staff were unable to see the comments made by colleagues, which meant that individuals did not know if they were expressing a minority view or a majority view.
To make this process more transparent, will Executive now publish the comments made during the consultation period?
Thank you for your question regarding the consultation process for the changes to the Christmas closure arrangements. Consultation commenced on 22 May 2014 with UNISON, UCU and with all staff.
UNISON balloted members on the proposal and received a 65% vote in favour of the changes. UCU reported that they had received feedback from approximately 30 members, 21 of whom were against the proposal and 9 were in agreement.
The general feedback received during the consultation period from staff effectively mirrored the union feedback with professional support staff generally supportive of the proposed change and academic staff less so. We then weighed up the feedback received with the original proposal. Whilst a number of concerns were noted, it was felt that this did not go to the heart of why the proposal had been made and as a consequence, following discussions with the Unions we recommended to Executive that the proposal proceed. Executive as part of their decision making were informed of the feedback from staff and unions and following discussions there, the proposal was approved.
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?
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.