Your Bristol UCU Newsflash, 21st June 2017

1) Promotion and Progression – Update

Thank you to everyone who attended our progression and promotion focus groups last week.

Pathway 1 and 2 raised a number of important points such as:

  • the importance of ‘progress to progression’ being an integral part of Pathway 1 annual staff review.
  • the fundamental misunderstanding of risk that lurks behind the short-termism of Pathway 2 contracts in many cases.
  • absence of career development opportunities for Pathway 2 staff.

The Pathway 3 focus group was particularly well attended, representing the general institutional appetite for some heavy duty revision of the Pathway as regards parity of esteem with other staff groups.

Following our UCU Executive yesterday, we agreed to formulate a clearer list of demands as a branch regarding Pathways 2 and 3 to inform debate. Watch this space.

We already have two excellent Pathway 2 and 3 reps with a seat on the University’s Promotion and Progression Review – Scott Greenwell and Tom Sperlinger respectively – and UCU representation on the Review’s ‘Task & Finish’ Group overseeing the group (James Thompson).

2) Promotion and Progression – Framework First and Foremost!

Agreement relating to the implementation of the National Framework at the University of Bristol. Effective from 1 August 2007: hardly the topic of water cooler conversations or sultry June days.

But the Framework underpins UCU’s starting point for discussion around progression, especially that which UCU consider progressive about progression.

For more on this topic, see the Bristol UCU blog post ‘Framing the Discussion on Academic Progression at Bristol’:

Framing the Discussion on Academic Progression at Bristol

3) Fair Pay For Arts HPTs

As part of the local UCU Anit-Casualisation Campaign, Bristol UCU continues to push for fair pay for hourly-paid teachers.

For example, UCU members and Faculty of Arts HPTs have signed an open letter, asking Arts Management to review the payment of Arts HPTs as a matter of urgency.

The letter states ‘we believe that HPTs in Arts are being paid less than HPTs in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law (SSL) for doing the same work…it cannot be right or proper that staff at Bristol are paid less for doing the same work. Such a principle is at the heart of the University’s Reward agenda’.

4) National HE News

May you live in interesting times. Across the country, a number of UCU branches are taking action against cuts and against changes to policies detrimental to staff:
Leeds UCU are striking against plans to make it easier to dismiss staff without due cause.
Manchester Met UCU are striking against the closure of their Crewe campus.
Manchester UCU are campaigning against an unnecessary slashing of academic jobs.
London Met UCU continue to call for staff from other universities to boycott London Met