UCU… at UWE Rotating Header Image

February 21st, 2019:

UCU response to Briefing Note re. Academic Roles and Career Structure

Why we could not throw over 600 members of staff to the wind for a loose promise of 25 roles for one year.


You have just received an e-mail from the UWE management concerning their plans for career progression, module leadership at G grade and routes into ‘I’ and ‘J’ grades. This has surprised us as the negotiations only ended 45 minutes prior to its release.

We will of course be taking each point within their statement and providing our analysis of it. We will include this in the next newsletter.

We thought that a succinct e-mail regarding the negotiations and the concerns we as your union negotiators had would be helpful in the meantime.

  1. Module leadership at G. The joint unions and UWE management have an agreement in place (the PEP – pay equality project, which is UWE’s implementation of the national framework agreement-‘our T&C’s) that aligns the roles its staff undertake to a grade.
  2. Currently Module leadership sits firmly at H grade and no G grade member of staff should be undertaking module leadership. UWE proposed to vary a condition in this agreement in that module leadership would be allowed at G grade. They have described this change as minor. Our view of this change is a major variation. This variation is has significant potential implications for staff at UWE:
    1. The variation could lead to a restricting of the university where ‘H’s become ‘G’s, putting around 600 staff members and the vast majority of union members at risk.
    2. Overloading current G grades with complex administrative and leadership tasks that could then become the norm at G grade. This could potentially impact on the progression of staff if they cannot meet all of their demands as they learn their craft.
    3. We asked for a programme of training and support for ‘G’ grades wishing to move into module leadership at ‘H’ grade
    4. This could have a seriously detrimental effect on the morale and wellbeing of staff at all levels due to increased pressure compromising workload management system.
  3. We fundamentally reject the notion that we are against ‘H’ to ‘I’ progression, which was ransomed in this proposal and the university confirm the funding for this already exists for one year only.
  4. Despite several safeguards being put forward from UCU to the management they refused to accept these.

Please discuss this with your union and non-union colleagues.

UCU recognise the support and solidarity of our sister unions Unison and Unite in these negotiations.