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University and College Union Edge Hill University Branch October 2010

Update your membership details Please check that your subs are up to date and at the correct rate for your pay grade as this may mean the distinction between gaining legal advice or not should the worst come to the worst! Your membership details are vital to the work of the union. We will be writing to you and urge you to check your details are up-to-date. Please respond to us at your earliest convenience. If you didn’t receive our mails, please contact Alan Seatwo:

A message from region:

Redundancy by Stealth? Edge Hill University has experienced its first academic compulsory, redundancy in many years. Sadly this was a compulsory redundancy that failed to provide the individual concerned with an opportunity for redeployment or voluntary severance or other means of avoiding the compulsory redundancy. This raises serious concerns about management’s approach to genuine meaningful consultation and raises the possibility of a formal failure to agree or even formal dispute situation. We are particularly mindful of the likely impact of next months comprehensive spending review (CSR) on HE funding. Whilst UCU continues to engage in discussions with management about our serious concerns we feel it appropriate to provide members with some words of caution concerning practices that, whilst apparently isolated, members need to stay on the alert for and report immediately to UCU Branch Officers. Members should be alert to: • Any proposed changes to organisational structures, roles or responsibilities • Any appointments that would appear to encroach on the roles and/or responsibilities of staff already employed. • Any suggestions of financial difficulties in their department or faculty • Any offers of secondment to other areas If you become aware any of the above we would request that you approach a member of the UCU branch committee (names and addresses provided at the end of this newsletter).

Changes to local contracts Over the summer local and regional representatives have been in discussions with senior management as our notice was drawn to the introduction of a new, non negotiated contract for hourly paid staff. These discussions continue and we will keep you informed of developments. One concern that has arisen from this discussion is that it would appear that hourly paid members of staff are experiencing what many of them have described as ‘capping’ of their hours below 220 (the figure that was agreed with management as part of the pay framework agreement as the point after which an employee would be offered a fractional permanent contract). UCU at Edge Hill have sought reassurance from management that line managers have not been required to cap hours but, rather that they are aware of their duty to inform hourly paid staff of their right to a permanent fractional contract on reaching 220+hours of formal scheduled teaching over 2 years.

Fund our Future: Stop Education Cuts NUS/UCU national demo UCU and NUS (National Union of Students) are jointly organising a national demo, 'Fund Our Future: Stop Education Cuts' on Wednesday 10 November 2010, in central London. The demo is part of our strategy to influence the Coalition Government. NUS and UCU firmly believe that education changes the lives of individuals, families and communities. Education and skills will also be key to our economic recovery. Staff and students in further and higher education are coming together to build an unprecedented coalition to fight against the cuts that have been imposed upon our communities, as well as to resist the prospect of higher fees and increasing privatisation in education (from Our own Student Union here at Edge Hill are currently organising transport for those who wish to travel to London for DEMOLITION 10.11.10. they have invited UCU colleagues to join them but in order to allow them to book enough places have asked UCU members to please contact SU President, Dean Currall, by the 15th October to book places on the bus. We hope to see a lively turnout.

Branch meeting 6th October Many of you will have seen the Times Higher article on the 9th September that announced that UCU has, for the present, withdrawn its threat to ballot for national strike action over pay and job security. Some of you will also be aware of the heated debates that have taken place between members of the HEC and the NEC in relation to this decision and may also be aware of how close voting on this subject has been. We are delighted to announce that Jimmy Donaghey (member of HEC and NEC and outspoken participant in this debate) has agreed to attend our next branch meeting at Edge Hill in order to speak to members about this important topic. We would encourage all members to attend that meeting at 12 noon, 6th October, room M40, as local representatives will soon be called upon to present your views with regard to future industrial action. If you would like to influence this important decision making process it is crucial that you attend. Please watch your emails for further information.

Health and Safety……… gone mad. When I told my suitably cynical 22 year old son who works in the building industry that I was taking over as UCU Health and Safety Rep at Edge Hill he wasn’t too impressed: ‘what they going to do then – teach you how to carry essays safely?. This probably sums up one side of the coin – the other is that we have a Health & Safety or risk averse culture which impinges on fairly innocuous aspects of everyday life. Obviously I’m here to convince you otherwise. Working in a large institution like Edge Hill the more obvious Health and Safety issues are addressed in a highly effective manner and therefore you might think that it’s not something that really concerns you. Each Faculty has a Health and Safety Officer, and there is a University H & S Committee which meets once a term considers any relevant issues. Except that it doesn’t just end there, Health and Safety Regulations are part of an intricate legal framework which requires any employers to create and maintain a safe working environment. This involves far more than providing the correct number of washrooms for the size of the establishment or gritting paths in the winter. The notion of a Duty of Care is at the heart of much H & S legislation. Health and Safety then is not just about learning to lift essays safely, it’s about everyday issues; workload, work related stress, even down to the amount of office space you should have, 11 cubic meters per person as it happens. What is more the legal requirements are there not just to help you work in a safe environment but in an environment which is conducive to your wellbeing. If you want to know more e.mail

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UCU Edge Hill branch representatives: Branch Chair Patricia Hornby-Atkinson 01695 650972 Vice Chair Ursula Curwen 01695 584218 Branch secretary Alan Seatwo 01695 584157 Treasurer Tracey Garvey 01695-584507 H & S rep Ian Phillips 01695 584727 Faculty reps Tony Keating - FoH 01695 657057 Ian Phillips - FoE 01695 584727 Associate/part time lecturer rep, Janet Taylor 01695 657034 taylorj@edgehill.

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Want additional support? The College and University Support Network (Recourse) offers UCU members a range of services - from factsheets to counselling. Access these services online or through the 24/7 telephone support line, Freephone 0808 8020304

UCU Edge Hill University Branch newsletter  

Oct issue of the newsletter

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