Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 29th March 2017

1) Pay

Along with our fellow HE trade unions, UCU has submitted our national pay claim for 2017/2018 [PDF]. The first meeting with UCEA is tomorrow (Thursday, 30th March).

Headlines of the pay claim:

  • A pay increase of RPI + 3% on all spine points
  • Joint unions would consider a two year pay offer that contains reference to both RPI – ‘keep up’ – and a ‘catch up’ element on the same basis as this year’s claim’
  • Nationally agreed frameworks for actions to close the gender pay gap by 2020, to reduce the proportion of staff in precarious employment and to tackle excessive workloads

A quick glossary:

RPI: Retail Price Index, the rate of increase in prices for goods and services

Spine Points: the point you’re on in your grade [PDF]. If you’re a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, on Grade L and below, you’re on one. This includes HPTs on Grades H and G (Assistant Teachers and Language Tutors, for example)

Joint Unions: UCU, Unite, Unison, EIS and GMB.

UCEA: Universities and Colleges Employers Association, the body representing the University of Bristol and nearly all UK Universities at the national bargaining table.

2) Progression and Promotion

What do you think of progression and promotion? Is it working? How could it be improved? What are the key principles for you?

The University is currently reviewing progression and promotion on all three academic pathways as part of the new Strategy.

For example, it is currently setting up groups for Pathway 2 research staff and Pathway 3 teaching staff. UCU will have at least one rep on the Research Staff Working Party and the ‘Teaching Staff Working Group’.

We will also have at least one rep on the body both these groups ultimately report to, the Progression and Promotion Steering Group.

There is also a review of Pathway 1 being conducted by a senior HR manager. Plus, a Professorial Group looking at gender pay on which UCU has a rep.

Promotion and progression is one of our three branch priorities. Intimately involved in the negotiations before the pathways were first introduced several years ago, we consider ourselves custodians of the principles of the HE Framework Agreement, for example, progression in all roles is a clear expectation, both within and between grades.

With regard to Pathways 2 and 3, we have long expressed our concerns with how these pathways function (or don’t, as the case may be).

We need to hear from P1, P2 and P3 staff. Bristol UCU will be shortly a) holding a set of open meetings and b) conducting a survey of staff on these pathways. As always, let ucu-office@bristol know your views.

3) Timetabling and Staff Constraints

In case you missed it last week:

  • Bristol UCU letter noting the changes branch officers have sent a letter [PDF], outlining the branch position and requesting a timetable to review the application of the Staff Constraints Guidance over the course of its pilot year.
  • Bristol UCU letter commenting on the proposed changes [PDF].
    Any members experiencing problems with the new approach to teaching constraints should email asap.