Tuesday, 9 August 2016

PGMDE Consultation - UNISON's First Response

The branch has submitted its first response in relation to the integration of postgraduate medical and dental education support function across London and the South East (LaSE).

Please find a copy of the response available to review here.

In summary, the branch was profoundly disappointed by the lack of detail surrounding the proposal which was provided as part of the consultation paperwork. The branch has specifically highlighted the lack of detail around proposed technological introduction as a means of labour-saving in addition to concerns around matrix working. A number of other concerns were also raised, in addition to a proposed alternative timetable.

We will be responding to additional aspects of the proposals in due course.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

PGMDE Integration – Consultation on proposed structure

Members working for Health Education England (HEE) on University of London contracts will be aware that staff working in the PGMDE function (commonly referred to as ‘Operations’) are being consulted on proposals that, if introduced, would lead to a 41% reduction in the number of posts. The branch is incredibly disappointed that the proposal is very much a worst-case scenario in terms of proposed reductions

Clearly this is having a devastating effect on members employed in this department and we want to encourage staff to contact us with any comments they have on the consultation documentation (unison@london.ac.uk). We will also be available to support members for any individual concerns or needs that they might have, including representation for individual consultation meetings.

The branch is actively organising around a robust response to these measures and will be regularly updating affected members. We remain resolutely opposed to compulsory redundancies.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Annual Leave Claim – Member consultation on employers offer

Members are now being sent invitations to respond to the consultation online. The consultation will run for one week until 28 June 2016.

The branch has now concluded negotiations with the University in relation to our claim, which was for an uplift in annual leave for staff on CTS terms (grades 1 – 6) in order to bring this in line with the allowance afforded to staff on AMP terms (grades 7+).

The University’s initial offer was to increase annual leave by two days, subject to service. The branch rejected this offer on the grounds of equality. Higher grades do not have to have earn additional leave based on service, therefore neither should 1-6s.

Following further negotiations, the University conceded an immediate uplift (subject to agreement being reached prior to the end of July) from 25 days to 27 days for staff employed on grades 1-6 irrespective of service length.

Included in this agreement is a clause accommodating a change in the way that annual leave is calculated. Should members agree to this offer, leave will be calculated on pro-rated basis according to each day worked (with leave allowances being rounded up to the nearest half-day). Full details of the offer can be found here.

The University have informed us that they are not willing to offer the full uplift to 30 days due to financial considerations.

We are disappointed that the University has not been able to meet our claim in full but the Branch remains committed to the longer-term goal of equality in annual leave provision across all grades. We wil revisit this matter with the University in the future.

At this present time, we  believe that this offer is the best that can be secured by negotiation. We believe that only a period of sustained industrial action would potentially lead to an improvement in the offer.

Given the above, the branch is not making a recommendation to either accept or reject the offer. We ask all members to respond to the consultation.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Student Central – Proposed Restructure

As affected members and staff will be aware, the University is proposing a significant restructure at Student Central. If implemented this would involve a significant reduction in staff in addition to the outsourcing of Student Central’s front-of-house and bar/catering operations.

The branch was profoundly disappointed that it was only notified of these changes one hour before these were communicated to staff. We do not believe that the University followed best practice in this regard.

Following this announcement the branch submitted a response to the University challenging the proposed timetable. We subsequently submitted an additional response challenging many aspects of the proposed changes. We are still awaiting for the University to respond to the points we have raised.

The branch views the current proposals as short sighted and counter-productive to the stated aim of achieving a balanced budget, and the branch remains opposed to the outsourcing of services.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Higher Education Pay 2016-17 Consultative Ballot

UNISON Senate House & Edexcel branch will be conducting a consultative ballot in relation to the employers 1.1% pay offer for 2016-17.

Affected members should expect to receive an invitation to respond to the consultation via email.

The branch committee is recommending that members reject the offer.

We have prepared a comprehensive briefing pack explaining this recommendation here.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Angela Jelfs - ICE Statement

Please vote for Angela in the upcoming ICE ballot, and see the attached statement for more information.

Angela Jelfs ICE Statement

Image result for vote

Friday, 11 March 2016

Letter to CoSector

Sally Townsend
University of London

Dear Sally

We are writing to you to express our members’ deep reservations on the future direction of CoSector.
Since the change of management took place last year, we have been broadly supportive of your efforts to restructure the business in order for it to grow. We welcomed your apparent abandonment of the proposals to alter terms and conditions for new and existing staff; and in return we accepted the argument that the new senior management team would remain in place for the purposes of growing CoSector’s business.

However, developments in the past week, which seem to be widely known within all parts of CoSector, have cause great concern, not just for those directly affected, but other members who now fear for their futures’ within the organisation.

To be clear, we refer to the proposed changes to TCG Central Services team and Online Services team. If these proposals are implemented, it will lead to the compulsory redundancy of four staff, with the implication that future downsizing will occur once changes take place.

We were lead to believe that no redundancies would take place in the short term and certainly not before the publication of the long awaited business plan, which you have not provided to neither the Board of Trustees nor unions as of this date.  We appreciate that these matters should not be rushed into and consequently we strongly urge you to postpone these proposals for the time being.

You should note that UCU and UNISON have a policy of opposing all compulsory redundancies and we oppose these proposals now. We will be seeking to involve our respective national unions, via the London regional offices.

We find it very unfortunate that many of the concerned members believe that the faults of the business lie with the management that was imposed last year. In particular, the high cost base that is being shared amongst budgets, causing once surplus deriving teams to fall into a loss.  As we have said, we recognise that in order to grow and be successful CoSector needs good and effective management in place. This is not necessarily cheap.  However, your latest round of proposals implies that the business is trying to cut costs and downsize. This is not the strategy of a business trying to grow. Members can see this quite clearly and are dismayed.

We look forward to your response on this urgent matter.


Jon Bitmead
On behalf of the Senate House UCU branch
Sam Ferman

On behalf of the Senate House UNISON branch

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