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					                             Joint Consultative Committee
Notes of the meeting held on Thursday 14 February 2008 at 3.00pm in Room B101, Law
                               & Social Sciences Building

Attendees:             Professor Diane Birch (Chair)
                       Mike Byrne (UCU)
                       Jane-Marie Collins (UCU)
                       Mac Daly (UCU)
                       Paul Greatrix
                       Patricia Hulme
                       Gwen Lennard
                       Chris Middleton
                       Chris Thompson

                       Jo Delves (minute taker)

Apologies:             Jaspal Kaur


1.       Minutes of the previous meeting

Diane Birch invited members to raise questions regarding the minutes of 10 May 2007.

2.       Matters Arising

        2a Activity Review

     UCU expressed concern that the R&T family salaries were falling behind due to
     activity review. Discussion was yet to take place on this issue and it was agreed that
     it should be a future agenda item.

        2b IPR

     Mac Daly stated that the working group had now been constituted and was meeting
     regularly.

        2c Partnership working

     Diane Birch reported that Jaspal Kaur had started to discuss partnership working with
     the JUWG to see what this would look like and how the current resources she had
     within HR could be used to take the matter forward.

     Mac Daly requested that partnership working be an agenda item for the next meeting
     so that the JUWG could feedback to this Committee. Action: Jaspal Kaur

        2d Facebook

     Mac Daly reported that the facebook issue seemed to be under control and
     manageable. Mac Daly thanked Paul Greatrix for the message that was circulated.
     Paul Greatrix stated that the message needed to be re-circulated after every new
     student intake.

        2e Support Services

     Mac Daly said that an appointment had been made to the post of Student Support
     Services.
     Paul Greatrix stated that Student Services had opened in the Portland Building. The
     budgetary process had been overhauled. Paul Greatrix reported that the system
     would be reviewed to ensure it was user friendly.

3.       Organisational Update

        Paul Greatrix stated that since the meeting in May 2007, the September/October
         student intake had taken place.     There was good recruitment at Postgraduate
         overseas level. The figures for Autumn 2008 looked positive.

        David Greenaway had been appointed as Vice-Chancellor starting in September
         2008.

        Paul Greatrix reported that The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and
         Skills had sent the annual funding letter to the Funding Council. The University of
         Nottingham would receive its funding letter in the next few weeks. There would
         be an increase in capital funding over the next few years. At the same time as
         receiving an increase in funding, the HE Sector would have to find £500m of
         savings.

        The University of Nottingham was named as the best place in Science (outside
         North America) to work in academia.

        With regard to the Core Systems Review, Chris Middleton was meeting with Jaspal
         Kaur and Professor Dodson next week. Professor Dodson’s report had not yet
         been discussed at Management Board.         Until this discussion had taken place
         there was nothing new to report at this time.

        Chris Thompson reported that the financial target was to move to £10m surplus
         and reduce debt. The University was still on course to achieve this. There were
         very ambitious targets for student recruitment this year. It would appear that
         tuition fees were lower than planned but international scholarships were higher
         than anticipated. Research margins were better on the research contracts that
         were in place. Pay increases were higher than anticipated but against that there
         had been cost control by delaying initiatives.

         In terms of central costs, revenue from Nottingham hospitality was lower than
         anticipated. Chris Jagger was undertaking work to stabilise this. Strategic
         spending was being managed very closely.

         In terms of the plan for 2010/11, there was still pressure from Council to
         decrease debt levels further. Student income was down but all other metrics were
         being managed to ensure the University could deliver Council’s requirements.

         Chris Middleton asked for clarification regarding debt level and deficit. Chris
         Thompson reported that deficit impacted on cash. The University was generating
         cash but also investing. Net cash generation needed to be at such a level so it
         could bring the debt down. The University would have a debt for the next few
         years and this would be managed. The University was extremely well regarded by
         bankers and credit analysts.

         Mac Daly asked whether it was due to performance review that salary rises were
         higher. Gwen Lennard confirmed that performance review was a contributory
         factor.

        Mac Daly raised the RAE return and asked whether management were happy with
         the way in which this matter was dealt with. Diane Birch said there was an
     awareness that some aspects would need to be reviewed next time.           Chris
     Thompson reported that a massive effort was put in by all to complete the RAE in
     time. Jane-Marie Collins thought application of RAE criteria was inconsistent
     across schools, and the information from people responsible for the RAE was
     variable. She stated that there was no understanding why some people were
     included and some were not. Mac Daly stated that some Heads of School had
     indicated that not being included in the RAE meant future employment would be
     at risk.

     The other concern raised was from staff who could have been entered for the RAE
     but were still not included. Diane Birch stated that the University’s own strategy
     may have had some impact. It was agreed that Diane Birch would follow up non
     inclusion issues with Jaspal Kaur.

     It was agreed to follow up and consider diversity and non inclusion further.

4.   USS Salary Sacrifice

     Chris Thompson reported that a paper would be going to Management Board in 2-
     3 weeks suggesting an “opt out” approach to salary sacrifice for USS payments
     rather than an “opt in”. There would be savings for the employee and the
     University. The University benefits would be given directly to the schools. At
     least 3 universities had taken this approach so the University of Nottingham could
     learn from their experiences. USS were supportive of salary sacrifice but did not
     want to see the savings re-emerge as higher salaries. Following Management
     Board approval there would be a period of consultation.

     Patricia Hulme asked which level of salary would count with regard to redundancy
     pay. Chris Thompson confirmed the higher salary would be used. Patricia Hulme
     highlighted that nationally, UCU seemed to be very keen on this.

     Chris Middleton emphasised there would be a period of communication leading up
     to the change to ensure people understood fully and that opt in would be an
     individual decision.

     Mac Daly expressed concern that Heads of School would put pressure on staff to
     “sign up” so that the School benefits. Gwen Lennard stated that communication
     would indicate that sacrifice would be a personal and confidential decision.

     Chris Thompson reiterated that Schools would be instructed not to put pressure
     on to their staff. Diane Birch suggested that an accounting mechanism could be
     put in place to review outcomes and monitor take up.

5.   Consultation & Partnership

     Diane Birch thanked UCU for their work on the paper. It was agreed an update
     was required. It was also agreed that where consultation works well, it is a
     mutual benefit.

     However, the Union were concerned that apart from the “big ticket” items, issues
     which required consultation, smaller policy changes, were being implemented
     without discussion.

     They requested an agreement to stop items being missed and to ensure
     consultation took place at the right time.
         Mac Daly proposed that the main mechanism to stop things being missed would
         be to discuss them at this Committee. However, Mac Daly’s opinion was the
         Committee did not meet often enough to make it practical.

         UCU proposed everything in the staff handbook should be consulted upon. Gwen
         Lennard expressed concern that this was a blunt instrument as not everything in
         the staff handbook would always require consultation and other matters which
         were not in the handbook would benefit from consultation.

         Mac Daly reiterated his concern that some issues, eg, IPR policy was in the
         handbook but had no consultation.

         Gwen Lennard proposed that there needed to be a mechanism to provide a means
         for consultation on matters affecting all staff through the JUWG and other matters
         affecting only UCU members through JCC.

         In the meantime Diane Birch proposed that as items in the staff handbook were
         only changed via Maureen Docherty, she would be responsible considering any
         need for consultation on changes to the handbook. For matters which are
         discussed at the Operations Group, Chris Rudd who chairs this Committee had
         agreed to flag up issues requiring consultation with Diane Birch. For matters
         discussed at MB, Diane Birch will raise the need for consultation. This will be a
         temporary measure pending clarification and further work on recognition
         agreements, partnership frameworks and consultation mechanisms.

         Paul Greatrix had difficulty with “all university practices” in the consultation
         document. It was agreed that the sentence could be substituted with “many
         university practices”.

         It was agreed that a working group be formed. Diane Birch would be interested in
         being part of the group. Action: Gwen Lennard

6.       Transport

        Public Transport

         Patricia Hulme raised the issue of the number 34 bus being removed during
         vacation time, yet there were many people left on campus during this period and
         it was a very dark campus to walk across after 5.30pm. Patricia Hulme informed
         the JCC that Nottingham City Transport were prepared to run the service outside
         of term but expected the University to cover the loss in revenue

         Diane Birch agreed to speak to Professor Dodson. Action: Diane Birch

        Parking

     UCU noted the changes on East Drive which they welcomed but were concerned that
     approximately 50 parking spaces were lost. Mac Daly asked whether there were
     plans to replace the 50 spaces and it was confirmed this would not be possible. Mac
     Daly had noticed a higher volume of students bringing cars on to campus. Patricia
     Hulme stated that it would be useful to remind students residing in the halls that they
     could not park their cars on campus. Paul Greatrix agreed to raise this matter with
     Estates. Action: Paul Greatrix

     Paul Greatrix reported a workplace parking levy would be imposed by Nottingham
     City Council in 2010. Paul Greatrix stated that the University of Nottingham were
      second highest in car parking spaces for any University.   A consultation period in
      agreeing the charging system would be undertaken.

7.       Senate Elections

Mike Byrne and Chris Middleton had both stood for senate election. They were concerned
that there was no way of knowing the detail of voting outcomes.

Paul Greatrix reported that the election had been conducted properly. In future, contact
would be made with everyone who was eligible to stand to encourage participation. The
University was also looking at an electronic voting system but it would not be up and
running this year. The notification would be going out at the beginning of April informing
individuals of the timetable. Paul Greatrix agreed that the University would provide
information on each candidates % of votes in the future.

8.       Equality Issues

Jane-Marie Collins raised the Gender Equality Duty of 2007.        There was a specific
requirement for consultation with Trade Unions. Jane-Marie Collins had asked for
inclusion in the Gender Advisory Group. It was stated that Union Representatives should
be involved from the early stages and she felt that this had not happened. The Gender
Advisory Group has no Trade Union membership at all. There are, however, student
representations. There was a process for co-opting but it was not clear how this would
happen. Jane-Marie Collins would like to know why the Unions had never been invited
and there also seemed to be some revision to the Gender Advisory Group. There was an
obligation to publish the equal pay audit information but she could not find this on the
intranet.

Gwen Lennard reported that her understanding was that the JUWG was the vehicle
whereby equality issues were taken forward. At the last group there was a presentation
on equal pay and Unions were asked for their comments. Gwen Lennard stated that UCU
should have been sent the minutes. Gwen Lennard apologised for the fact that this did
not happen and agreed to send both the presentation and terms of reference of JUWG to
Jane-Marie Collins. The advisory groups were being reviewed,

9.       Core Systems Review

The Core Systems Review was discussed under item 3, Organisational Update.          There
was nothing new to report until Professor Dodson’s report was circulated.

10.      Any Other Business

Patricia Hulme expressed concern that the IT systems throughout the University had
been very unreliable of late. Problems had been encountered with CMS.

11.      Date of Next Meeting

8 May 2008 at 3.00pm in Room B101, Law & Social Sciences Building

				
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