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They were laughing then. Four meetings later suddenly things don’t seem so funny…

As you know, we’ve been trying to negotiate better information and consultation for all staff for months now, having spent over a year forcing the University to accept that things have to change. Staff in Levels 1-6 especially have clearly expressed that they don’t feel properly consulted about what goes on here and have twice voted for IWGB reps to represent them in trying to get a better deal.  Staff in Levels 7-10 are represented by reps from UNISON and UCU.

Our job is to negotiate what the forum for information and consultation would be like. We’ve met regularly with the University and put forward detailed proposals and constructive ideas to make sure that everyone can be fully involved, and we’ve kept you updated about this as we promised at the start.

The good news is that all negotiating reps and the University agreed with nearly all of the ideas we suggested.  Principally, we have proposed that the appropriate forum is a reformed JNCC which has an online portal, allows staff to submit agenda items, minutes and reports back on the meetings properly and runs open meetings for staff.  The only difference in our positions is that the University, UNISON, and UCU don’t want the IWGB to be a full member of this forum, instead relegating your reps to mere “observer” status.  Obviously we cannot accept a forum where the union Levels 1-6 have chosen to represent them has inferior status so in an effort to reach consensus we have proposed a second option: to establish a separate forum for information and consultation, constituted on the employee side by 4 reps for Levels 1-6 and 4 for Levels 7-10, all democratically elected (see the attached for details).

If the University and Levels 7-10 reps ram through their preferred option despite our protestations and offer of an alternative, then by law the option would have to be put to a vote of all University staff.  We think this would be costly, time-consuming, and easily avoided.  However we will continue to push for a fully functional and participative forum in which Levels 1-6 have an equal seat at the table.  This is what you have elected us to do.

The next meeting is this Friday – please let us know any thoughts or questions by emailing rebecca.dooley@london.ac.uk.

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