Roman Forum. The reconstruction of the 19th century. Painter Becchetti. Watercolour.
One of the models we’re using for the new ICE forum

We are just emailing to keep you up to date with the progress in the ICE forum talks where, as you know, we are negotiating on behalf of Levels 1-6.

There have been two meetings since Mark’s election.

At the first meeting, held on 1 July, we discussed our proposal to reform the Joint Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JNCC – currently attended by UoL, UNISON and UCU), expanding it to include all 3 unions and reforming it to improve communication and participation of all staff, including those not represented by unions.

The majority of our proposals were broadly welcomed, with the exception of our request that the IWGB be a full member of the JNCC through the University agreeing to formal recognition.

At the most recent meeting, held on 21 July, UCU and UNISON put forward their own proposals. These fleshed out the way in which the JNCC would communicate with staff BUT proposed that this continue to be run by the existing two unions, without a role for the IWGB.

As well as this, there was an in depth discussion regarding the formal recognition of the IWGB where the University affirmed their existing position that they already have recognition agreements with UCU and UNISON and had no plans to recognise any other union – thus effectively disenfranchising grades 1-6, who chose IWGB to represent them. Obviously this is not acceptable to us.

At the next meeting, which is to be held in the next few weeks, Kim Frost is scheduled to present his own proposals, with the main sticking point at present the University’s reluctance to extend recognition to the IWGB. It may be that the solution instead is (as was originally envisaged) a separately elected ICE forum.

Once this meeting is held we will update you further – we are determined not to agree to anything that does not ensure that the interests of Levels 1-6 staff are properly represented.

We also wanted to flag up that the next meeting has been delayed, partly as we have requested some corrections to the original minutes of the last one. We are concerned that a full and accurate record be maintained, so that our attempts to defend the views and wishes of levels 1-6 staff are properly represented.

As ever, we are committed to the outcome of this process being a forum which will allow staff a stronger say in the University’s affairs. With ongoing developments in Student Central, CoSector, and in particular HEE (where current proposals envisage a 41% cut for PGMDE staff) this is more important than ever.

Please do let us know any thoughts and feedback you have (uol@iwgb.org.uk)

Best wishes

Mark and Rebecca

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