Capability, Discipline and Grievance Policy Changes

The college is changing four policies and these changes affect your relationship with the college (your employment contract). Three are straightforward improvements, one is more problematic. A ballot will be issued so that we can collectively decide what to do next.

Dear QMUCU Member

We hope that the summer break was the right mix of rewarding and restful. Before preparations for the new semester begin in earnest, some important college policy matters require your attention.

Your Employment Contract and College Policy

Your employment contract states that you must adhere to policies that the college sets.

From time to time the college seeks to change the policies and these changes are negotiated with the unions (UCU, Unite, Unison, BMA and BDA).

When negotiations are at an end, it is right to ballot members on their acceptance or rejection of those policies because they in effect change your employment contract.

Over the last two years there have been negotiations over four policies that the college will now implement:

  • Capability (ability to do the job),
  • Discipline (misconduct),
  • Grievances; and
  • Attendance (sickness)

Changes to the first three are not problematic.

Changes to the attendance policy are not so straightforward, so this will be addressed in a separate communication.

Capability, Discipline and Grievances Policies

Changes to the capability, grievance and discipline policies are generally positive. Specifically,

  • Ten days notice is required for all formal meetings,
  • There is greater clarity about every step and there is no need to cross-check across policies to understand the process,
  • The role of informal procedures has generally been strengthened,
  • There are clearer guidelines on the independence of those hearing discipline, grievance and (in the later stages) capability cases.

We argued that line managers should from removed from the formal the grievance procedure because line management must have failed if the formal grievance process has been initiated. While the college did not accept this, there is greater scope in the policy to bypass the line manager when they might not be appropriate (e.g., Grievances policy, Section 3).

Importantly, there is now a procedure for multiple or collective grievances (see Grievances Policy, Section 4).

We do not see the changes to these three policies as problematic and we recommend you accept them.

Next Steps

The existing capability, discipline and grievance policies can be found here.

Click for the new capability policy, discipline policy and/or grievance policy.

An email with a link to the ballot has been sent directly from UCU on 15th September.

Please see our second communication about the much more problematic attendance policy.


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