Queen Mary UCU is now officially in dispute with college management. At a recent meeting of campus trade unions and management and in a letter sent to the Principal we made two requests of management concerning recent and future developments affecting UCU members at Queen Mary. First, a commitment to no compulsory redundancies resulting from restructurings and, secondly, acceptance – by management – that the introduction of any (new) ‘performance management’ regime and/or appraisal scheme could only come after negotiations with and agreement of UCU. Management have refused to offer positive responses to these – what we regard as – reasonable requests and, in consequence, we are in dispute with them over these two issues.
With regard to any redundancies associated with restructurings, our view is that the reasoning for the restructurings have been and are flawed, that they have not involved effective and appropriate consultation, that the (retrospective) criteria upon which redundancy decisions have been made are inappropriate and unfair, and that management has failed to demonstrate that they have exhausted all reasonable options in avoiding redundancies.
With respect to the imposition of a performance management regime, management have informed unions that all staff in the faculty of Science and Engineering will be subject to the minimum targets-based ‘performance management’ regime based on the attached documents. Whilst management have agreed to ‘consult’ with staff representatives on these documents, as we regard such changes as part of our members’ terms and conditions such changes can only be acceptable after they have been negotiated with and agreed by UCU.
The executive committee is open to and – in coordination with other campus unions – will meet with HR in the coming weeks to discuss these two matters as part of our disputes procedure with the college. However, the branch is also now committed to a campaign to inform and update members on the progress of talks on these issues. Should it prove impossible to reach a negotiated solution with management over these two concerns then the branch executive will need to consult you on further measures, including the possibility of industrial action.
In the next week or so, union activists will be visiting Schools and departments to brief staff on the dispute and answer your questions. We are holding a campaign planning meeting at 1pm in the Maths Lecture Theatre on 14 March, and on 21 March we will hold a General Meeting at 1pm in GO Jones LG1, which all members are urged to attend.
- Management’s performance management proposals: “D3” part one, part two; D3 form.
- Campaign flyer and poster – please display one in your department.