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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

 

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