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Members' Bulletin, October 2018

Members’ Bulletin 16 October 2018


Workloads and Academic Expectations

Pay ballot

Insourcing of catering, cleaning and security staff


Successful agreement on workloads and academic expectations


The local union has now reached agreement with the college on workload models and academic expectations. In line with our commitment to transparency and fairness, every Department will either maintain, or introduce, a model of workload allocation based on discussion and agreement amongst academic staff.


There were contentious statements in the original workload document, in particular a designated equal three way split between teaching, research and service and a description of the normal teaching load as 70-100 hours. Both these statements have now been removed from the agreed document.


The associated document on academic expectations, setting out detailed performance attributes for the different academic grades – Lecturer A, B, Senior Lecturer etc – has been shelved for the moment to allow time for more discussion.


These outcomes are a testament both to the effectiveness of the local union and to the quality of local union-management relations.


Pay ballot: just a few days left to vote


Price inflation is currently running between 2.8% and 3.9% depending on how it is measured. Many universities, including Birkbeck, have recently implemented the employers’ pay offer of 2%, yet another pay cut when inflation is taken into account. This is why the union is balloting on industrial action over pay.


If you have not yet voted in the ballot, please do so before the ballot closes at 5.00 pm Friday 19 Oct. If you have not received a ballot paper, or you can’t find it, go to the UCU website where you can obtain a replacement ballot paper:


Successful insourcing campaign


Following a long campaign of joint trade union action, the College Governors have finally agreed to bring catering, cleaning and security support staff back under Birkbeck terms and conditions. Outsourced worker almost invariably experience inferior wages and conditions compared to those employed in the host organization. Although precise details of new contracts are still to be worked out, the college is committed to working jointly with the unions on this issue.