Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Information and Consultation (ICE) Negotiations Concluded

On 18 May negotiating representatives met to discuss information and consultation arrangements at the University.

At this meeting the two IWGB representatives indicated that they were no longer willing to negotiate, which has therefore meant that the negotiations have collapsed. This is despite us offering a means of ensuring fair and proportionate representation for staff at levels 1-6 in every department across the whole organisation. Nonetheless the IWGB claimed that they wanted to see the implementation of the standard provisions as produced exactly within the regulations, although they were unable to articulate what aspects of the deal on the table for negotiation deviated from the standard provisions.

In refusing to continue to negotiate, the IWGB representatives have left us in the position of allowing the employer to exploit the standard provisions which are set out in the regulations as, in many instances, aspects of the regulations are underdeveloped and provide considerable scope for interpretation. Indeed, their insistence on spending much of the opportunities for negotiation in arguing with the University over the issue of recognition (which is not covered by the negotiations and is a matter for the University to decide) has prohibited discussions on real and meaningful improvements for staff, which could have been achieved had they focussed on the issues at hand. We are therefore disappointed to report that the whole exercise has been a missed opportunity in many regards.

It now remains to seen how the University interprets the regulations, which will now be imposed given that negotiations have failed.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

General Election 2017 - Register to Vote

General Election 2017 - Register to vote
The snap general election which has been called for the 8 June has huge implications for all UNISON members. In order to make sure your voice if heard we are strongly encouraging all members to register to vote. You can register to vote online here

The outcome of the General Election is likely to have a huge impact on the future of the services in which we all work and we would encourage all members to keep abreast of developments on the union's website here. You can also read the UNISON response to the Labour Party manifesto here.

Relating to this, and following a request from the branch, the University of London has undertaken to advertise the means to register to vote to both its students and those resident in University Halls.

Image result for general election 2017

Higher Education Pay Claim
UNISON, in collaboration with UCU, UNITE, GMB and EIS, has been negotiating with UCEA over the 2017-18 Higher Education pay claim. The employers have now made their final offer, which amounts to a pay increase of 1.7% to all pay spine points, with higher increases for those on the lowest pay. The Higher Education Service Group has issued a statement to the effect that the offer is the best that can be achieved through negotiation.

The branch is disappointed that, once again, the employers have made an offer which is below the current level of inflation. This means that, once again, the real terms value of our pay will be reduced for yet another year. Members will be consulted on the offer from 19 May - 30 June 2017 so watch this space.

Health Education England - CSR Consultation
Those University employees deployed to Health Education England who are currently affected by the consultation to cut staffing costs by 30% should contact us should they have any concerns. Much of the negotiation regarding the proposals is taking place at a national level, with the national UNISON Health team heavily involved but we will be submitting a local response to the consultation, so we would welcome your views.

We would encourage all affected members to keep abreast of development via HEE Connect.

Other news
In other news, the branch is undertaking a joint review of the University of London Change Management Policy with the employer. This is due to serious concerns we have in relation to last year's Student Central restructure and we are therefore looking to ensure much greater protection for staff and greater transparency from the University when undertaking restructures.

This year we will also be looking to engage the University around Brexit in requesting that they provide enhanced level of support to staff from the EEA in securing the right to remain in the country and in employment of the University.

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