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UCU CCCU Update 9th November

Dear Member,

 

Things move on apace and this update reflects the current national and local situations, UCU and UCU CCCU policies and decisions and ongoing negotiations with SMT.

 

I have tried to give direct and straightforward information and statements. Opportunities for updates and discussion occur at our regular Branch Meetings.

 

Please do check the UCU CCCU website (https://cccu.web.ucu.org.uk/) and attend and contribute to Branch Meetings and / or send comments views questions etc to me (bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk) or Antonio Sama Branch Secretary (antonio.sama@canterbury.ac.uk) .

 

Our new Semi-autonomous working groups will be reporting soon.

 

The groups currently set up are:

 

Workload/Blended Learning

Protected Characteristics/Disabilities

Casework and Hardship

Childcare

Campaigning

 

Watch out too for our rolling programme of Faculty focused meetings identifying areas of concern and issues to be considered in Faculty contexts.

 

LATEST UPDATE

 

The​ Joint Negotiating and Consultation Sub Group (JNCSG) – Progress in UCU CCCU/ SMT Negotiations

 

This new UCU CCCU negotiation initiative is linked to the JNCC. The JNCC traditionally met once or twice a semester for formal negotiation between Unions and SMT. In relation to the pandemic the JNCC took over the responsibility of agreeing the Temporary Agreement (TA) and overseeing its review.

 

With the multiple concerns of staff in mind UCU CCCU have now negotiated weekly JNCSG meetings which will become the focus for the management and monitoring of the TA. UCU CCCU will pursue the identified backlog of TA problems through these weekly meetings.  

 

 

 

The TA Review 9 November – Progress and Further Possibilities

 

The good news of positive student recruitment has led to UCU CCCU’s expectation of a negotiated end to STW work within the TA.

 

UCU CCCU and our regional negotiator made this clear to SMT today.

 

Whilst retention into Semester Two is a key issue the positive recruitment is very promising.

 

However, it is recognised that adjustments to the TA must be based on sound financial information and that full October data is not currently available.

 

A further JNCCC TA Review Meeting will be scheduled in the first week in December at which UCU CCCU will:   

 

develop the clear expectations that STW within the TA will be ended asap. 

 

emphasise that the TA provides provision for negotiated restitution of staff losses into and beyond the Academic Year 20/21. 

 

 

Teaching Online – Progress and Review 

 

UCU CCCU with the support of Regional Officers,  in line with National UCU Policy and in discussion at Branch Meetings, have sought to negotiate the movement to Teaching Online in the context of maintaining:

 

essential University activities safely

 

the importance of School, Programme and Academic autonomies

 

the recognition of staff and student Health and Safety and Mental Health provision.

 

This negotiation is ongoing and is evidenced in the:

 

Framework for Learning and Teaching during the Lockdown (5 November to 2 December) due to be published today by SMT.

 

This document recognises:

 

the importance of the ongoing JNCSG negotiations initiated by UCU CCCU

 

the importance of autonomy and decision-making at programme and school levels

 

the centrality of individual Risks Assessments and their ongoing review for staff Health and Safety. 

 

These points are additional to UCU CCCU’s commitment to fully support any member of staff who feels unsafe or coerced in relation to their health safety and well – being in any work – related role, situation, or environment. 

 

 

Workload Planning – Progress and a New Framework

 

UCU CCCU have stressed in negotiations with SMT the problems of WLP in relation to STW and the TA characterised as:

 

80% pay for 120% work

 

a broken WLP model

 

confusing guidance on WLP within the TA .

 

At the TA Review UCU CCCU have negotiated:

 

a focus on the process document negotiated by UCU CCCU ((https://cccu.canterbury.ac.uk/20-21-temporary-collective-agreement/docs/Implementation-of-Temporary-Agreement-AWLP.pdfas guidance for WLP and ongoing review within the TA 

 

the WLP group established by UCU CCCU and HR will begin again to work to develop appropriate WLP models and the framework for future implementation beyond the TA

 

the current guidance on WLP on the University website will be re-designed in the light of the above.

 

 

We look forward to seeing you at Branch Meetings. The next Brach meetings are scheduled on 18 November and 2 and 16 December 2020.

 

Together we are making a difference

 

All Best Wishes,

 

Bryan Hawkins

 

Chair UCU CCCU

 

 

UCU CCCU approved at the Branch Meeting on 4 November the following motion:  

=====

“This branch supports the call by national UCU that universities should move all non-essential in-person teaching to 100% online. This was the scientific advice from SAGE on 21 September.

We instruct the branch executive to make urgent representations with SMT to demand the introduction of this measure at CCCU with immediate effect.

This measure is required in order to protect the health of health and safety of CCCU staff and students (as well as their families and dependents) and also protect the wider East Kent community.”

===

Branch Update 5/11/20

Dear Members,

UCU CCCU are currently in negotiation with CCCU SMT in respect of the current Lockdown, in relation to UCU National Policies and Branch decisions.

Additionally, and as previously stated, it is of particular importance to UCU CCCCU that staff must under no circumstances be coerced in relation to any role, environment, or situation in which they feel unsafe.

​Please contact UCU CCCU for support and information on these or any other matters.

All Best Wishes,

Bryan Hawkins 

Chair UCU CCCU

Branch Semiautonomous Working Groups

Dear Members,

 

As part of the UCU CCCU framework to enhance its strategic and operational capacities for monitoring the implementation of the TA, the STW and the WLP a series of semiautonomous working groups (SAWGs) have been recently established. The primary task of these groups is

 

To monitor CCCU policies and activities of strategic and operational relevance for UCU CCCU and to contribute to inform and shape branch’s position, strategy, and plan of actions in those areas 

 

The initial SAWGS are

Workload/Blended Learning

Protected Characteristics/Disabilities

Casework and Hardship

Childcare

Campaigning

Each group will be facilitated by a Convenor, who will be member of the Convenors’ Group (coordinated by me in my role as Branch Secretary). The Convenors’ Group will meet monthly.

 

If you are interested to join one of the initial groups, please contact:

Announcements about the other SAWGs will be done in due course.

 

If you are interested in initiating yourself a SAWG please contact meo (antonio.sama@canterbuyr.ac.uk) for an initial conversation.

 

BW

Antonio

 

Antonio Sama

UCU CCCU Secretary

====

UCU CCCU MEMBERS UPDATE 16/10/20

Dear Members,

 

As I am sure you realise these are important and vital times for the future of our University, Higher Education and the health of our communities.

 

The UCU CCCU EXEC have been working and negotiating to support staff across our University as UCU nationally has been working to support Staff in HE and FE Nationally.

 

UCU CCCU’s agreed local priorities are:

 

Health and Safety

 

Workload and The Temporary Agreement

 

Currently UCU CCCU are further prioritising and emphasising important areas in relation to which SMT need to act urgently and communicate effectively to staff.

 

The next UCU CCCU Branch meeting will be on 21 October 1-2pm (link https://eu.bbcollab.com/guest/db2cb8e4c39d40f7bd318de87ce0cd4a)

 

The below is the text of a UCU CCCU email sent today to SMT.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

Thank you for accepting the need for prioritisation of issues within SMT UCU CCCU discussions at the current time.

 

I do realise you are very busy and particularly pressurised and UCU CCCU thank you for your ongoing work across our University.

 

UCU CCCU wish to avoid unhelpful confrontation and the breakdown of collaborative efforts within the TA.

 

Prioritisation will I hope help us to assure members and staff they are being heard and allow us to move on to clear the backlog developing in relation to the delivery of the TA (Temporary Agreement) and in relation to issues raised within P2021 (Project 20/21).

 

As mentioned yesterday the following points are communicated not as new issues but as implementation priorities by UCU CCCU and as areas where decisions have already been made or where we feel there is or should be consensus based on recent extensive discussion and negotiation.

 

The points below are in addition to UCU CCCU’s expectation of a Review of the Temporary Agreement in relation to the current CCCU student numbers and financial situation. 

 

I would like to be able to report back positively on these points to the UCU CCCU Branch Meeting this coming Wednesday 21 Oct .

 

The priority points are:

 

The assurance and communication of actions to ensure the safety of front-line staff and particularly academic front line staff in connection with Covid cases and outbreak control.

Assurance and communication should as a minimum:

 

Provide clearly defined guidance on actions to be taken in outbreak scenarios that are made available and accessible to both staff and students

 

Ensure that all staff and students in the case of a confirmed Covid case within a teaching group where staff have been teaching f2f on site know what to do and what to expect of others and CCCU

 

Ensure All members of any teaching group with a confirmed Covid case will be immediately informed and requested to self-isolate and certainly whilst any investigation as to distancing and other issues occur.

 

Provide guidance on the safety procedures (and as above) that will be given clear and high profile on staff and student portals and in website design

 

Updating on Covid: clear daily updates for staff and students are vital to ensure confidence in CCCU leadership and to respect the commitment and professionalism of staff. 

 

Updates should:

 

Be daily and include weekly totals

 

Follow the Bath model

 

Be high profile on staff and student portals and in website design

 

WLP planning guidance needs to be simplified and communicated more effectively

The current guidance is confusing and submerges collaborative SMT/HR/UCU CCCU guidance. Evidence from across the University suggests WLP is creating anxiety and tension for staff and is not working effectively for managers.

 

UCU CCCU urge that in line with recent discussions:

 

‘Parked’ details on WLP process for future consideration are removed from guidance and websites for the duration of the Temporary Agreement

 

Clear and uncompromised access to the agreed SMT/HR/UCU CCCU guidance for staff is established

 

The agreed SMT/HR/UCU CCCU Guidance is given a clear and accessible profile in website design

 

The agreed SMT/HR/UCU CCCU Guidance is communicated directly to managers and staff as the basis for WLP conversations and WLP review.

 

Please note UCU CCCU will discuss at our Branch Meeting 21 Oct the issue of UCU guidance in relation to online teaching in relation to the current local and national situation and in relation to the CCCU and SMT actions and assurances currently and urgently requested here as priorities.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Bryan Hawkins

Chair UCU CCCU

UCU Covid Dashbord

UCU Covid Dashbord Link to Information on UCU’s response to the Covid-19 emergency and a live list of updated cases across all Universities.

https://cccumedia.siso.co/index.php

 

Your Stories

In preparation for next week Branch meeting (Wednesday 7 October 1-2pm) we have been collating evidence of problems experienced by staff and students.

Please can you send us a brief outline (one or two paragraphs) of problems and issues you have experienced in the first week of term on

  • AWLP
  • Health and Safety
  •  other areas.

Please send your email to:

Bryan Hawkins (bryan.hawkins@canterbury.ac.uk)

Antonio Sama (antonio.sama@canterbury.ac.uk)

by Tuesday 6 October 12noon.

Best wishes

Bryan

Bryan Hawkins

UCU CCCU Chair

UCU CCCU Newsletter 29.09.2020

 

Dear Member,

 

UCU CCCU wish you well with new academic year and hope that you managed some kind of break and rest this summer.

 

Overall the situation nationally and even locally is changing by the hour.

 

Amidst the chaos of government guidance and planning and the problems of HE and our University and community UCU your Union and Branch remain active and working for staff and our communities.

 

I will keep comments here brief but please come to Branch Meetings to contribute and engage and please make contact with us to share your views and experiences so that we can represent you more effectively.

 

It is particularly important in these difficult times that UCU CCCU know where and what the problems are so that we can support individuals and groups and identify significant issues and areas for union work and intervention.

 

Contacting us doesn’t lead to un-agreed actions, it can be a simple one-off conversation, your confidentiality is assured and any specific support or actions will be negotiated and agreed with you – issues can be taken forward in relation to individuals and/or as more general concerns.

 

The Temporary Agreement and Workload Planning

 

Some recent communications have not been clear, some WLP has been problematic, some actions have threatened the integrity and principles of the Temporary Agreement.

The TA is not a one-off financial deal signed off and done.

The TA initiated – not a simple financial permission – but a process involving mutual UCU and UCU CCCU and SMT commitment to principles, actions ongoing review and monitoring of a complex set of factors.

Working with SMT UCU CCCU have produced a set of guidelines for implementation that focus on

providing guidance and support for line managers and staff and individualised support for members.

This document is attached.

It aims to map process and review WLP’s simply with links to relevant information.

It does not, of course, solve all the related problems but gives guidance and a framework that can accommodate a degree of customisation and flexibility but which importantly defines the WLP conversation as a place to solve problems and as open to review and if needed mediation with UCU CCCU Branch support.

UCU CCCU and SMT have agreed to monitor and adapt and change the guidance in the light of experience and feedback.

 

Additionally UCU CCCU have:

negotiated previously proposed changes to definitions of post-graduate teaching as ‘not’ teaching be parked for 20/21.

established that the (FTE) 550 teaching hours are a maximum figure not a target figure

established clarity that teaching is not excluded from short time working calculations and WLP conversations

created provision for review of WLP’s

established a problem-solving mediation route where WLP’s are not agreed

provided a framework for review and consideration of WLP’s that have happened

and

now provide a structure to support those many WLP’s that haven’t happened or haven’t been completed meaningfully.

 

Health and Safety and Semester One

 

The UCU position/trajectory is moving from emphasising online to teaching fully online and UCU CCCU will follow the National Line.

 

Currently UCU CCCU will support any member who feels anxious and/ or at risk from the return to teaching and we will not accept

any coercion of staff or the imposition of compulsory face to face on site teaching that is against members wishes.

 

We are currently arguing for caution in the first weeks of semester one and for decisions regarding face to face on site  and online to be made by staff and line managers/HOS’s in the light of experiences of modules staff and students and changing circumstances.

 

We are seeking to negotiate a position so that face to face on site teaching will be considered in the short term and temporarily non-essential.

 

Members of staff who find room allocations being exceeded will be supported to protect themselves and students by simply and immediately cancelling the session and by deferring organisation and administration to an online context.

 

 

Please keep us informed of your experiences and working environment.

 

UCU CCCU are here for members and will discuss the possibilities of individual support and/or Branch actions with you more fully on request.

 

See you at the Branch meetings !

 

Best Wishes

 

Bryan Hawkins

Chair UCU CCCU

 

Branch Meeting Dates and Times.

 

All Branch Meetings will be on Wednesdays 1-2pm on the following dates:

 

October 2020
7
21

November 2020
4
18

December 2020
2
16

Is it safe to reopen universities and colleges? – Video of UCU talk

Is it safe to reopen universities and colleges?

Watch the discussion here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDwAZFX_bZQ&feature=emb_logo

UCU CCCU Newsletter 1/9/20

Dear UCU member,

 

I hope you are managing to find time and space away from CCCU.

 

The work at hand for the Branch Executive has not stopped and currently is focused upon the implementation of the Temporary Agreement and the planning for 20/21.

 

Additionally UCU CCCU recognise there are now urgent issues arising from the implementation of the TA.  

 

The Supplementary Information/ Guidelines in relation to the TA begin:  

 

This document is a work in progress aimed at providing a set of guidelines for supporting the implementation of the TA. It is shared at this stage as evidence of the joint work UCU CCCU and SMT are developing to support the implementation of the TA as well as being an additional set of information. 

 

There is very considerable and growing staff discontent with the current situation and the implementation of the TA. 

 

There is an urgent need to re-establish the collaborative UCU CCCU SMT approach on which the integrity of the TA now rests. These issues are currently concentrated in relation to the following points:

 

the AWLP document circulated as Appendices to Support AWLP for STW has not been agreed by UCU/CCCU and now marks both a break in the progress and work developed in the UCU CCCU/SMT WLP group and in relation to the implementation of the TA. It has been described to me by a member as reflecting ‘bad faith’ on the part of SMT and is as step back from the principles asserted in the TA.

 

UCU CCCU in the absence of co-operative work on the TA, Guidelines previously agreed and giving notice of the risk to the TA  this creates, will work to maintain its responsibility to members and the TA and continue to independently develop the TA Guidelines to address existing and developing problems with implementation

 

the Health and Safety of staff, students and our communities and the WLP 20/21 (within STW and the Pandemic) remain clear UCU CCCU priorities around which there is considerable staff concern – this now calls for actions beyond the existing working groups.

 

The possibility and the frameworks of effective collaborative work exist and I hope we can improve on the current mutual problems for the sake of the University. The alternative will be individual and collective grievances challenging the University and TA and its implementation.

 

A JNCC or special meeting is now urgently needed to address these issues.

 

Please contact us regarding any problems and issues and especially in relation to WLP for 20 /21.

 

Below is the draft of the additional TA Guidelines previously circulated and for which UCU CCCU are awaiting a response from SMT.   

 

Best Wishes,

 

Bryan Hawkins 

 

Chair UCU CCCU

 

 

A FRAMEWORK FOR WORKLOAD PLANNING 20/21

 

Effective WLP is at the core of the integrity of the TA in 20/21 and will define vital elements of its success or failure in terms of staff and student experience, Health and Safety and Well-Being.

 

CCCU SMT and managers must urgently and fully take on the implications of the now agreed TA and STW and Guidelines and support staff in this context revising existing WLP’s where relevant and ensuring reductions in workload rewqured under thyec TAS.

 

WLP must deliver the commitments  made by SMT that balance the sacrifices made by staff in the TA.

 

The TA Guidelines published on StaffSpace go some way to support the TA but clearer direction and more detailed guarantees of fairness of process and support for staff Health and Well Being and security of staff are clearly needed.

 

It is all staff and managers responsibility to protect collective and individual Health and Safety and Well Being by ensuring that STW produces less not more work for staff involved in the TA.

 

 

Audit of Workload 

 

A sense of what hours are required at Faculty, School, Programme, Module  and Individual Planning levels in 20/21 are needed as starting points for all WLP and as the basis for individual WLP’s and STW reductions in workloads.

 

A clear, ongoing and transparent calculation of workload against available staff hours must exist at Faculty, School, Programme and module levels and inform WLP discussions. Clear information on STW reduction can be only be established on this basis. 

 

Problems arising at the points above  must be urgently reported and solved by SMT and not or passed down to staff.

 

The audit of workload should additionally include:    

 

Audit of School and Programme Workload including a transparent calculation the hours  for all staff roles and responsibilities to be allocated

 

Audit of Key School ‘across the board’ and School Programme and module Workload Reductions

 

Audit of Individual Staff Pre-Covid Workloads

 

Audit of Individual TA Workload Reductions.

  

Individual staff positions within programmes, modules  and individual workloads must be established and agreed via WLP’s.

 

Preparatory work undertaken for teaching should be included in teaching/contact hours calculations  

 

Staff must have agency an active role and recourse to mediation in relation to decisions made in WLP’s.

 

Lack of clarity regarding student numbers in 20/21 suggest that the WLP process will be delayed. 

 

On this basis all current Semester One and Two WLP’s will be provisional.

 

Risk Assessments 

 

Risk assessments must be established  prior to the finalising of WLP’s and reflected in WLP negotiations and documentation.

 

WLP’s should directly engage  the conditions for a safe return and the Health and Safety and Well-Being needs of individual staff. 

 

It must be accepted by managers that some staff will only be able to deliver their contact hours/teaching online.

 

It must be accepted that Risk Assessments and thus WLP’s will need to change, and  possibly at speed,  to accommodate changing conditions.    

 

Teaching and STW – 

 

An agreed and transparent formula for module group sizes and multipliers must be agreed across Faculties, Schools and Programmes

 

No individual member of staff should be allocated less contact/teaching hours than are involved in the actual delivery of modules.     

 

Reductions in contact/ teaching hours are potentially part of any individual WLP. 

 

The TA does not protect any area of staff workload from reduction within WLP negotiations. 

 

Staff must actively involved and have agency within WLP negotiations including the opportunity to request mediation and to dispute with representation elements of their WLP’s that emerge unagreed by staff and LMs.

 

Staff must feel able to suggest and define areas for reductions of workload  that reflect their individual situations and professional, career and personal contexts and these elements should be reflected in WLP’s  

 

The revised notion of contact hours/teaching hours  must inform all WLP’s. 

 

Contact/teaching hours include:

 

face to face on site contact/teaching

 

synchronous/face to face online contact/teaching, 

 

non-synchronous/student directed learning and feedback contact/teaching

 

The above activities considered in total are the contact/teaching hours to be fully included in existing and revised WLP’s.

In the context of STW they should be subject to reduction by negotiation in WLP discussions.

 

Some staff (and some students) will not be able to provide face to face on site teaching within their contact hours

The considerations of BAME network should inform WLP and WLP’s.

 

No member of staff should feel unsafe or unfairly treated as a result of their WLP and clear routes to Mediation through HR and UCU CCCU and Union representation will be highlighted by Line Managers without prejudice in such cases.    

 

 

Protected Characteristics –  

 

These must be considered and reasonable adjustments made within Risk Assessments and within WLP’s

 

Review and Mediation

 

All WLP’s will be subject to review as the academic year develops.

 

All WLP negotiations experiencing difficulties will have access to a clear route to balanced and open mediation provided by HR and if relevant UCU CCCU and Union support.

 

Monitoring of WLP’s 

 

Individual staff and Line Mangers have a responsibility to record the actual workloads experienced and delivered in 20/21.

Differences between WLP’s and actual delivered workloads need to be addressed within WLP reviews and be mediated by HR and/or UCU CCCU and Union representation.

  

 

Bryan Hawkins 

 

Chair UCU CCCU