Loughborough University
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Loughborough University

University Committees

Academic and Related Staff Negotiating Sub-Committee
Thursday 26 September 2013

Academic and Related Staff Negotiating Sub-Committee

Minutes

ASC(2013)-M3

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 26th September 2013.

Attendance

Members in attendance:

Rob Allan, Alan Bairner, Maurice Fitzgerald, David Kerr, Marc Gibson, Jim Murphy

Also in attendance:

Anne Mumford, Director of Change Projects for item 5.1 and deputizing for COO

Lauren Collier

Trish Barnard

Hayley Baker

Jonathon Potter (Substitute for Chris Linton)

19 Business of the Agenda

Apologies for absence were received from Chris Linton, Richard Taylor and Laura Mercer.

20 Previous Minutes

[ASC2013-M2]  -  Minutes of the previous meeting.

The minutes of the last meeting of ARSNC were CONFIRMED.

21 Matters arising from the Minutes

5.1 Workload Control Model

Anne Mumford explained that there was no further progress with the Workload Control Model but was happy to answer any queries as there were inconsistencies identified with the existing agreement. It is important to ensure that all Schools are compliant with the current agreement. The Deans have been asked to provide feedback and confirm the model by December.

UCU thanked everyone for their patience. It is hoped that the new University Strategy will raise the profile of Enterprise. It was noted that the Conditions of Service will include an update to Enterprise (9) and (22) and Consultancy (26) following work with the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise). It is hoped the proposals will be complete by the end of November and circulated to members for feedback. Throughout the university, understanding and awareness of Enterprise remains relatively low. UCU are happy with progress made and hope to report back in January. Ann Mumford commented that achieving University-wide implementation will be a positive step.

 

22 Items for Discussion raised by University Management

 

UCU expressed a concern that regular apologies from Management appears to show a lack of commitment, which is reinforced when Management have nothing to speak about or raise. The Director of HR stressed that this does not signal a lack of commitment as Management wish to discuss the same agenda items. It was also noted that there was a clash in meetings which explain the apologies, but Management remain committed while useful items are discussed.

 

23 Items for Discussion raised by Loughborough UCU

23.1 REF 2014

UCU raised concerns that Schools have reached different stages in terms of informing academics if they are being returned to the REF or not. Trish Barnard noted that Deans and academics will be given REF decisions and outcomes by the end of September and given the chance to appeal in writing by the 11th October 2013. Jonathon Potter commented that 642 FTE have been returned and 74 FTE were not returned although eligible to do so. Disclosed personal circumstances are as follows: 108 straightforward and 20 confidential complex cases with 6 pending (final figures to be confirmed). It was noted that the quality of work is judged by predicted grade point average, which is reviewed by at least two assessors.

UCU enquired about the statistics regarding Athena Swan. The HR Director explained that the statistics had not yet been finalised.

23.2 NSS 2013

UCU noted that NSS scores were not as good as hoped for and expressed concerns about the difficulty in raising them without increasing pressure on staff. For teaching Loughborough ranked joint 29th, with Bath leading the way in 1st place. UCU expressed a concern that students are becoming increasingly aware of NSS, which is influencing their decisions with students wanting value for money and more contact time. It was noted that the University cannot afford to slip further.

The Director of HR noted that the Chief Operating Officer was on board and that Loughborough had not declined, as scores have roughly remained the same year on year, but had been overtaken. Jim Murphy commented that discussions have taken place regarding scores and the November Council will be presented with an analysis and ideas going forward.

UCU highlighted a concern that Assistant Teachers with two year appointments would be allocated too much teaching time and that the University needs to take teaching more seriously as the focus appears to have shifted  too much to research.

It was noted that the School of SPGS have proactively addressed these issues and it is hoped that others will follow suit.

23.3 Probation Arrangements for Academic Staff

UCU met with Anne Lamb to discuss changes to academic probation arrangements. UCU found this meeting useful, especially since Anne used track changes. Trish Barnard noted that comments will be passed to the Vice Chancellor for feedback.

23.4 Model Statute

In January 2012, the committee appointed a subgroup to assess the Model Statute; although progress was slow the subcommittee has now started making significant progress into revising and simplifying the Statute.

The areas covered are: academic freedom, disciplinary, appeals, grievance, and dismissals, with capability, redundancy and fixed term contract still outstanding. The subcommittee are happy with progress and ready to provide regular updates to ARSNC. They will provide a timetable outlining stages in due course.

The subcommittee noted that the Model Statute review will be completed by January 2014 and presented to the next ARSNC meeting, where timescales will be agreed.

 

24 Items for approval

24.1 Terms of Reference, Composition and Membership

The Director of HR commented that it had been recognised that one replacement for all four management members is not sufficient and one substitute for each area is required. UCU noted the benefit of having an academic present and suggested the terms of reference should read ‘should attend’ rather than ‘may attend’. Item 4 was discussed and it was agreed that three members opposed to four should be sufficient due to practicalities. It was agreed to continue to alternate the Chair.

 

25 Items for Information

25.1 None

26 Any Other Business

All three unions put forward notification for ballots on strike action or action short of strike

 

29 Date of next meetings

  • 8th January 2014
  • 7th May 2014

 

Author – Laura Mercer

Date – 15th October 2013

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