UCU SHU Branch – Motions passed at branch meetings

January 2019- Motion 1 : Test

This is a test motion.

December 2018 - Motion 1: Summer Resit Marking

The branch notes that the University has placed referred and deferred exams and coursework deadlines in July and has brought forward exam board dates to August. This implies that academic staff will be required to do teaching-related activity outside of the normal teaching year. The branch regards this as counter to the word and spirit of the 1992 contract of employment which states that “normally the period(s) of the year outside normal teaching weeks and your holiday entitlement will primarily be devoted to research and scholarly activity.” and is an encroachment on members’ entitlement to self-managed time. The branch further notes that, despite assurances from senior managers that resit marking outside of the teaching year should only be undertaken voluntarily, Heads of Department are being told they must ensure resit marking gets done during the summer. The branch believes that this will lead to members requests to take leave and SMT outside of the teaching year will be turned down and that members will be pressured into doing marking instead of research and scholarly activity.

The motion

  • The branch requests that the University Leadership demonstrates their commitment to staff entitlements to annual leave and SMT by doing the following: (a) reconsider the timing of the refer/defer exam and coursework submission dates such that marking can be done within the teaching year (b) instruct managers that annual leave and SMT requests may not be turned down on the grounds that the staff member is needed for marking or other teaching-related duties; (c) instruct managers that, staff can only be expected to undertake teaching-related activity outside the teaching year voluntarily, and providing they are able to take all their annual leave and SMT entitlement at other times. In the event that the University Leadership is not willing to commit to these assurances, the branch will consider this a failure to uphold their side of the Partnership Agreement and will consult the membership on industrial action.

Motion 1 result : Carried

December 2018 - Motion 2: UCU Branch Meeting Motion to Reject the Academic Careers Framework

The Academic Careers Framework (ACF) has been developed by the university as part of the Hallam Deal. The aim is to help academics to develop a successful career and for SHU to implement ‘Transforming Lives’. The ACF guidance explicitly states that it will be used to provide evidence for promotion, progression, regrading, and reward (including contribution pay).

There is potential for the ACF to be beneficial for academic staff as part of the Hallam Deal, such as improved opportunities for career development and a more balanced view of how people contribute to the university. However, the tasks and duties relating to the academic grades are substantially different to those in the HERA role profiles e.g. around one in three criteria at SL grade in the ACF correspond to PL descriptors in the HERA role profile. This problem occurs throughout the structure, resulting in a lack of differentiation between the top two grades on the scale. Further, in open meetings held as part of Transforming Lives and meetings with the UCU, it was made clear that the ACF was and is a work in progress yet it has been widely used in PDRs. This misuse of the ACF is being construed as a pilot which is being evaluated. Therefore, this branch advises members NOT to use the ACF for grading, personal reviews or career discussions until such time as these issues are resolved. Members should instead refer to the HERA role profiles.

Follow the link below to see the HERA profiles. 

https://portal.shu.ac.uk/departments/HRD/pay/jobinfo/Pages/academic.aspx

Motion 2 result : Carried