Report - June 3rd 2015


The Voluntary Severance/Early Retirement scheme is ongoing but has so far only created savings of

£2.3M, some way short of the £10.5M requlred.

The jolnt campus unions continue to work together and are questloning the level of saving required

and the speed at which the universlty is looklng to create these savings. A variety of alternative

money savlng options are being explored but many of the optlons only create one off savings rather

than recurrent which is the key word in the iristltutlons plans. We are exploring utillty costs but are

mindful that even if we implemented all the ideas (such as purchase of additional leave and

increasing car parking charges for staff) that we would still not reach £10.5M.

This leads us to believe that a further proposal to use compulsory measures will be presented to

university Court at the end of June. Aberdeen UCU are currently balloting for industrial action. In the

event of compulsory measures, the other recognised unions are not antlcipatlng similar measures. lt

is obvious from the initial statements rnade about the current scheme and ongoing decisions of the

re-structuring panel that any compulsory redundancies will he from the Academic staff pool, whilst

some technical/secretarial/admin staff have been allowed voluntary severance it has only been

where the business case has shown no net effect on the operaticnal requirements of the instltution.

We are however concerned about the loss of the three senior technical posts creating further glass

celllngs for our staff complement.

It goes wiithout saying that morale is, at best, low.

A revlew of probation procedures is currently in lt,s final stages, the key change being that a large

portion of "academic-related" staff who were previously not subject to any form of probatlon now

will be. The intention is to create a structured supportive procedure and for it not to be used


The memhershlp at Aberdeen have been made aware of the final pay offer and their responses

sought, so far only a handful of, negative comments have been received (but perhaps just as

importantly only one positive commentl).

Abertay University Report

University and HE issues

The Principal recently addressed staff and menlioned a predicted spending squeeze to

government funding, and could not rule out redundancies over the next couple of years.

Abertay have since implemented a recruitment freeze, and asked Schools / sections to

review their operations with regards efficiency and effectiveness.

Abertay is undergoing significant re-organisation including the introduction of Grade

Point Average marking scherne, Honou/s classifications calculated over the final 2 years

of study, introducing a Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) for students,

revamping the portfolio, introducing Elective and Option modules and Aecelerated

Degree programmes.

The University held a Positive Mental Health week (wc 11 May) for staff.

Universities Scotland announced that the Living Wage would be introduced. This seems

to be reflected in the Pay Offer.

Joint Liaison Group (JLG)

(All reps)

This is the main forum for raising issues with Management and meetings are held

monthly. Last meeting was 30 April 2015.

Iterns to highlight: .

* The proposal for enhanced pay for Shared Parental Leave was approved. .

* We are currently recruiting for Heads of Division (new permanent posts).

* The application for the Race Equality Charter Mark has been submitted.

* The University had been awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

* New academic staff must complete the PG Cert in Higher Education Teaching as

  part of their probation.

Equality & Diversity Committee (Bob Peter)

Last meeting: 26 May 2015

Items to highlight Abertay has been awarded theAthena Swan Bronze award. The

application for the Race Equality Charter Mark has been submitted.

Health & Safety Committee (Bob Peter, Colin Rae)

Last meeting: 12 May 2015

Items to highlight Recorded absence due to mentalhealth issues has risen significantly.

Tayside Higher Educational Branch

The last meeting was on Mon 27 April 2015

Minutes and Workplace Reports are available on the website


1 Larch Survey/review of estates is now complete.

The recommendations are that the re structure must begun from senior staff


It is clear the university is readyto move forward with this and there are

Implications for trade staff and staffing levels.

The other implication is that managementwould like to see trades staff move into HERA.

This was discussed a fewyears ago and poslponed when a number of serious

barriers became apparent.

UNITE objected to the scoring of trades staff and the unwillingness of

managementto supportthe principal of no detriment, which had been applied to

Academic staff during transition.

Estates are also seeking to lose tied accommodation on campus with implications

for residents.

2 One Dundee

Dundee University is in the process of re-organisation from a College System to a School

This will involve a centralisation of certain support services and a Hub and

Spoke model designedto maximise efficiency and avoid/reduce duplication.

This means that displaced stafffrom College organisation are now hoping to

relocate within the new school structure.

Safety Seryices is obliged to re-organise to accommodate these changes and

UNITE is keeping closely involved with all proposals.

3 One IT

IT services are undergoing reorganisation to make it a simple campus wide service.

Consultation has been on going.

In keeping with our avoidance of redundancy policy we have tried to ensure that

management has explained fully the new structure and staff are invited to apply

for posts, ensuring they feel theyhave a say in where they see Lhemselves fitting.

Posts have been HERA'd and job descriptions are available.

Interviews are taking place and staff are invited to contribute fully to the


Many staff are a little uncertain and the outcome is likely to mean a change of

remit or location for many.

The largest concern is senior posts, largely clerical which may be difficult to

accommodate within the new structure.

UNITE has regularly attended Collective Consuitation meetings aimed at

implementing change within UOD.

Management are still seeking to find savings, and many of these are through the

loss of staff.

This is in the main academic posts and the university has now run a VS scheme

for some time to facilitate this project and avoid compulsory redundancies.

University has suspended HERA for one year to accomrnodate the projected

changes across campus.

UNITE has requested a review of policies to reflect experience gained during


These are usually subject to annual review but have recently fallen by the


Sickness Absence and redeployrnent is first on our target list as being pooriy


UNITE has presented a paper requesting formal recognition for staff who assume

additional responsibilities.

UNITE remains active within dispute resolution and mediation on campus.

Individual Cases

A member in estates who has a long-term health problem, seeking to return to

work and prevented bymanagement.

A member who we are seekingto redeploy after iniury/i[ health.

A retrospective review of a member of staffs terms of service after tleywere

designated unable to drive.

Referral to OH following a concern regarding performance.

Appointment of a UNITE Safety Rep in Life Sciences.

Edinburgh University

Currentlongoing lssues

Lieu davs for Publlc & annual Holidavs while On Call

Still having ongoing talks with HR about this issue, if not resolved soon we will need to go down the

Grievance route.

Any help that anyane can give me on this issue would be much appreciated.

e.g. Do you get Lieu days for Publlc Holidays/Xmas Closure holidays (annual leave)??

Please send me a copy of your terms & conditions for level 1 On Call.

Van Tracking

Van tracking issues seem to have gone quiet at the moment as the manager concerned has been

given another job.

Trades Rates

Have had a meeting with HR regarding the Trades rates, but they are hanging off until our annual

rise is confirmed.

RISC Glasgow Caledonian


The £30 Mllion Pouud Construction project work is well under way with the new

refectory due to open in early August, with all work due to be completed by the

spring/summer 2016.


Grahame Wylie has been re-elected as Unite Union Representative.

Robert Liddell has been re-elected as Unite Health & Safety Representafive as well as

Pension Representative.


The new regarding process is going through final approvals.


The University is introducing a nerry online payslip system staffcan pre-register but

after August 2015 pay, all payslips wiII be electronic only.

Unite West Of Scotland Education Branch.

Glasgow University group

RISC report.

1. Still being kept busy with disciplinary and grievances,

particularly in Cleaning services.

2. Having problems urith security staff in the University where they cannot

seem to work together.

Alison Mclean, Unites education team in Glasgow and myself

have met with the director of security and corporate

HR, to discuss the possibility of running a joint course

on respect in the work place. Should a course be run it

will be mandatory for all security staff to attend.

3. We have not organised a meeting on the salary

inmease but will do so shortly after the RISC meeting.

4. Holiday pay is still an oning issue, as there is still no

clear guidance from the courts, on how it should be

calculated and how rnany years it can be back dated.

Robert Harkins


Strathclyde Universitv Unite Branch

Covert recordings. Discussions are ongoing with the campus unions and HR to establish either which

policy, or a new policy, would be most suitable to inform staff and students of regulations relating to

covert recordings, The universrity has not ruled out listening to covert recordings handed in

a nonyrnously to departrnents.

Holiday pay. Members are appealing against the university's decision that overtime is voluntary and

therefore does not qualifu for the holiday pay submlssion. The FTO has again written to the director

of HR and awaiting court decisions.

Branch elections. These were carried out in May and the committee membership emailed to John

Smith House. We have a new Equalities Rep and this witi nsw enable our members to be fully

represented in this area.

Prescribed orsanisations. Are there prescribed organisations whereby employees are excluded from

membership of the union e.g. National Front and British National Party?

Racism case. Our member has returned to work on a phased return with measures, including

mentoring in place. Although he will work in a different department it will be in the same building as

the bully. This may prove to be problematic and also stressful in the long run for our colleague, not

least because there are several other rnembers of staff in close proxirnity who colluded with the

racist bully.