JCNF 7 October 2015

UCU was represented by Chris Graves, Ambreena Manji, Phil Markham, and Ryan Prout. Items on the agenda that were priorities for UCU included:

MEDIC Forward
Chris Graves read the joint statement that had been issued following close of consultation. He mentioned the good points about the process (towards the end) and the less good points (towards the beginning).

Workload Model
The Director of HR was positive about UCU’s feedback on the proposed workload model. It had contributed to the identification of 10 strands that the university wishes to hone going forward with the development of the model. UCU is invited to take part in meetings that will look at application of the Equality Impact Assessment to the workload model.

People Strategy
UCU’s feedback on this document was included in the paper for the meeting. There was a discussion of points it raised. UCU noted that E&D issues appeared to be segregated in the document. HR responded that E+D are embedded in the document. HR and senior managers were positive (enthusiastic?) about UCU’s suggestion of a Cardiff Manager paradigm to correspond with the Cardiff Academic and the Cardiff Professional templates. It was pointed out that academic and managerial roles are often intertwined: the opinion was expressed on the part of senior colleagues in the university that management aptitude would ideally be a precondition for professorial functions. UCU underscored the impression of caseworkers that members’ difficulties often arise from the perception, right or wrong, that colleagues without training or aptitude as managers occupy positions where management accounts for a significant part of their administrative activities.

The Director of Finance noted that colleagues often find information and proposed changes difficult to understand and announced forthcoming workshops to explain these.

Staff Lists
Phil Markham, one of the officials from the UCU Wales National Office, attended the meeting and spoke to UCU’s formal request for access to staff lists. Issues of data protection law were raised. UCU mentioned that at least one homologous Russell Group university had decided to interpret the law in such a way that sharing a staff list with unions was possible. UCU pointed out that much depends on how an institution depends to interpret the law and that there is room to interpret it in such a way that this would not preclude the sharing of staff lists with unions. Management colleagues said that homologous Russell Group universities, to their knowledge, had not sought an opinion on data protection policy and were not sharing staff lists. Management offered to add an opt-in to communicate with UCU in the online interface for new starters. This was welcomed by UCU but the point was made that what is being requested is broader. [Management undertook to seek further legal advice on the sharing of staff lists vis a vis concerns about data protection ]