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UCU replies to ADI Dean re; the instruction to be on campus for their FTE time

The Acting Branch Secretary, Jacqui Mitchell, has written to all members stating the UCU position over an email instruction sent by the Dean of ADI stating that academic staff must be on campus for their FTE time. The email also gives notice of the UCU AGM on 1st February 2012 and a UCU meeting at Stratford on 8th February 2012.

Dear colleague

We are writing in relation to an email sent on 2 January 2012 to all members of the School of Arts and Digital Industries (ADI) by the Dean, Catherine Harper and to let you know dates of two key meetings , including the AGM.  Further details of the meetings will be circulated in a more general communication but please put the dates in your diary.

In her email Catherine Harper states that all members of academic staff must be on campus for their FTE time, ‘unless otherwise approved’.  Any staff wishing to undertake work off campus must seek agreement from both their line manager and an appropriate Associate Dean.  They must also undertake a risk assessment of both the work activities and area in which they plan to work off site.

We are aware that many staff are very concerned indeed about the detrimental change to academic working practice that implementation of this directive would introduce.  These proposals completely fail to recognise the ways in which professional academics undertake their work.  We would like to reassure you that the union is currently taking up this issue with senior management as a matter of urgency. 

In the meantime we would ask anyone who receives any further communication from management relating to the contents of the email from the ADI Dean to contact one of the following UCU branch officers for support and guidance:

Jacqui Mitchell   j.mitchell@uel.ac.uk

Rae Beaver          r.beaver@uel.ac.uk

Phil Marfleet      p.marfleet@uel.ac.uk

 

We would also ask any members from other schools experiencing this to let an officer know as soon as possible.

We will be holding our AGM as one Branch on Wednesday 1st February on Docklands Campus and urge all members to attend as we will report back on our discussions with senior management about this issue.   Room EB.G.08 at 1.15-2.30.  Furthermore, Greg Barnett, our Regional Official, will be present to welcome the new Branch and to offer advice to members and officers about the email discussed above and other issues affecting us all.

Whilst we hope Stratford members will be able to attend the AGM we will realise the practical difficulties and will therefore hold a campus meeting for Stratford members on Wednesday 8th February – room to be confirmed from 1.15-2.30.   A full set of dates for meetings on both campuses will be agreed once the AGM has taken place and Officer Posts are confirmed. The newly appointed Reps will, as part of our new structure, also be calling smaller School meetings once the semester starts again.   The union is you and we urge you to find time, in what we know are very busy and difficult times for academic staff at UEL, to attend.    If you want your working conditions not to get worse we simply must organise collectively and stand firm against these types of management offensives.

All members are also welcome to submit agenda items for campus meetings. This must be done 72 hours before the meeting. 

Regards

Jacqui (Acting Branch Secretary)

For and on behalf of UCU at UEL

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