There have been some surprising developments in the negotiations to secure better information and consultation of employees here.
Friday 9 September was the deadline for the submission of final proposals for the new forum. We were expecting to have all the proposals circulated last week, in advance of the meeting to be held on Friday 16 September but, following an enquiry from us on Wednesday, Kim Frost informed us that the Unison/UCU representatives who were elected to represent staff in Levels 7-10 hadn’t written theirs up, despite having had 4 weeks to do so.
He therefore suggested that he would draft it for them!
We objected to this in the strongest terms. It is a clear conflict of interest for any part of the representatives’ work to be delegated to the lead negotiator on the University side. The negotiating representatives were elected to negotiate on employees’ behalf to get the best outcome for staff. This does involve effort and it’s a responsibility that the Levels 1-6 reps have taken very seriously throughout. We have met every deadline, put forward constructive suggestions, and submitted our own proposals as agreed.
We therefore asked that the Levels 7-10 representatives write their own proposal by the end of the week and agreed to postpone the meeting by a week.
Despite this, Kim has now submitted a proposal on behalf of the UNISON/UCU representatives. It accepts all of the changes that we suggested to improve the JNCC, but leaves the membership completely unchanged – just UNISON and UCU representatives. This version doesn’t even have the ‘observer’ status for the IWGB which was proposed at the last meeting.
Thus, Levels 1-6 have voted twice for the IWGB to represent them and, despite this the UoL/UNISON/UCU proposal is that we play no role whatsoever in the modified JNCC.
Obviously we’re not going to agree to anything of this sort! The next meeting has now been rescheduled for this Thursday 22 September, and we will again be strongly making the case for Levels 1-6 staff to be properly represented.
As always, please feel free to email us (Rebecca.Dooley@london.ac.uk) with any thoughts or comments you would like us to make about this or any other aspect of the process.