For Staff

Roger Gair's letter to Malcolm Povey

Dear Malcolm,

I write as promised to summarise my understanding of the position we reached at our meeting yesterday.   Please let me know if you think I have misunderstood or misrepresented anything.

School constitutions
I am currently revising the draft model constitution in the light of our discussion last week, and will let UCU have the next draft by the end of this week.  I shall set up a further meeting of the governance sub-group as soon as possible to discuss that draft.  My aim is to be in a position to put an agreed draft to the Senate for approval in May.

Fixed-term contracts
The UCU's comments on the proposed arrangements for the management of fixed-term contract will be discussed at a meeting of the ESRG's sub-group (a meeting which has already been arranged).  The UCU side will let the University have comments in writing ahead of that meeting.

FBS is at Stage 4 of the organisational change process.  Both sides are agreed that, to provide clarity for the staff concerned, we need to complete that stage as soon as possible, consistent with ensuring that the process is thorough and conducted properly.   UCU concerns about the fairness of the process have been drawn to the attention of the management side, and we will arrange a meeting with you soon - we will try for next week - to explore and respond to those concerns.  I will need to confirm with you who should represent UCU in this meeting.

CJH is just entering Stage 4, and discussions are under way with individuals who do not have a role in the new structure.   UCU will be kept abreast of any developments.

Academic activity profiles
UCU yesterday explained its concern about the potential link between the publication of academic activity profiles and the selection of staff for redundancy.   We agreed to convene a meeting soon to discuss ways of addressing UCU's concerns.   Although technically distinct, this meeting might appropriately be adjacent to a meeting about FBS.

Number and prioritisation of reviews
We will come back to UCU soon, as discussed in the last JCUU, with some thoughts about the prioritisation of reviews.   We will try to arrange things so that the matter can be discussed at the same time as FBS and academic activity profiles.

UCU yesterday raised the question of the impact of the new RAM on current reviews, and more generally argued for greater transparency in financial management.  we agreed that these matters should be included in the agenda for the meeting on the prioritisation of reviews.

Review of the March 2010 agreement
I confirm that the University side is happy to meet in London on 28 March to review the agreement we reached last March.   I shall write separately to Michael MacNeil's office about the logistics and timing.

Pulling the above strands together, I shall now seek to arrange a meeting of the 'governance sub-group', involving you, Gavin Reid, Steve Scott and myself, and I shall also arrange a 'compound meeting', with a bigger cast of characters (probably varying as we move from one topic to another) to discuss FBS, profiles and the prioritisation of reviews and the RAM.   Obviously, I might need to split this compound meeting if diaries so dictate.

I would propose the following for a joint statement:

"The University and UCU met on 9 March to discuss the points at dispute between the two sides.   The meeting was constructive, and a series of further meetings is being scheduled to work towards a resolution of the dispute."

I would further suggest that the contents of this e-mail - subject to any comments you might have - be regarded as in the public domain within the University.

As I indicated above, please let me know if you demur in any respect from my interpretation of the steps we are to take now.  I look forward to hearing from you but in the meantime shall start to arrange meetings as above.

With best wishes,