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Work Allocation Models and Total Annual Hours Worked by mov11126


                                Produced by Queen’s UCU                         Issue No 4 April 2008

                   Work Allocation Models and
                   Total Annual Hours Worked
Several Schools are experimenting with Work Allocation Models for academic staff that assign a
nominal number of hours of work to various tasks such as an administrative duty or teaching a
module at a particular level. The declared objective is usually to ensure a fair allocation of work
amongst staff. Queen’s UCU welcomes any move towards a more open and transparent method of
allocating duties, which has the approval of the staff concerned. However, experience elsewhere
has been that it is often an excuse to pile more work upon staff. So please notify the officers of
Queen’s UCU of any developments in your area.
Even tasks that sound the same can involve vastly different amounts of work depending upon the
subject. Thus we will have to rely upon members in the area to decide whether the hours allocated
are realistic. Here are some points that we have encountered regarding teaching:
    Is there adequate allowance for the necessary scholarship, updating and preparation of materials?
    Is there an additional allowance if this is the first time you have done this teaching?
    What happens if the module does not run?
    Does the allowance vary with the number of students and the level of the course?
    Is there separate provision for homework setting and marking, tutorials, practicals, projects,
    fieldtrips, examination setting and marking, and all the associated meetings and administration?
    Is there an allowance for being course co-ordinator or dealing with student problems?
Another problem is that the authors of these experimental Work Allocation Models are ignorant of
the Framework Agreement between Belfast AUT and QUB management. In that agreement annual
leave was increased to 23 working days (if not already better). In addition staff have 9 University
recognised / public holidays and a further 10 closure days (based on 5 days at Easter and 5 days at
Christmas arrangements). This makes a total holiday entitlement of 42 working days.
Grades 1 to 5 have a 37-hour working week. Ac1 (grades 6) and above (which includes virtually all
UCU members) are required to work the hours to complete their role. This provides flexibility, but
UCU consider that this cannot be an excuse for extra average hours. Part-time posts in grades 6 and
above are based upon a 37-hour week. UCU will not accept work allocations calculations based
on anything higher than an average 37-hour week.
The calculation of total annual hours is as follows:           Days in a year               365.24
5 out of 7 are weekdays. So,                                   Weekdays in a year           260.89
Thus subtracting 42 days holiday entitlement gives             Working days                 218.89
It is normal to think in terms of working hours per week.
So converting to equivalent weeks,                             Working “weeks”               43.78
Thus based on an average 37 hours per week,                    Annual Working Hours 1619.76
Thus Queen’s UCU will not accept any work allocation model based on more than 1620 hours
annually. Members should tell us immediately of any model based upon a higher figure.
                                                                                        Paul Hudson
               PAY Bargaining — What Next?
Informal discussions took place on 27 March between UCU and UCEA to explore ways forward
following the ballot of HE members to reject the proposals to reform the national bargaining
machinery JNCHES. General Secretary Sally Hunt, President Linda Newman, VP Alastair Hunter
and Malcolm Keight, Head of Higher Education, met with officers of the employers’ body the
UCEA to present our concerns about the current proposals and explore improvements.
UCU focused on two issues identified by the special conference in November last year and which
the higher education committee considered had not been adequately addressed. Both relate to the
principle of UCU’s ability to freely represent its own members within a single table bargaining
arrangement. The first is a clear commitment to establish a sub-committee to negotiate issues
relating to academic and academic related staff and on which UCU would rightfully hold the
majority of seats. Secondly was to remove timetables that sought to impose artificial limits as to
when pay bargaining takes place. The employer’s body shared UCU’s commitment to retain
national bargaining for pay and acknowledged the importance of ensuring that UCU was part of that
process. They said they would reflect on the proposals that UCU had put forward and respond
following the UCEA board meeting on 24 April.
UCU held a meeting in London on the 2nd of April to brief branch presidents on the current situation
with regard to pay bargaining arrangements and to receive feedback from branches. Renee
Prendergast represented Queen’s UCU.
It appears that the most likely way forward would involve agreement on a separate sub-committee
with majority UCU representation to deal with issues for those on Grades 6 and above. Agreement
would also be required on timetabling issues with the dates for negotiating meetings to be agreed in
June of the proceeding year.
The review of HE finances agreed as part of the current three-year pay deal is now underway and is
due to report in October/November. UCU would perform its own independent check with the
assistance of local branches.
A new pay claim is currently being prepared. In recognition of the fact that those on or near the top
of existing pay scales had not benefited much from the Framework Agreement UCU would be
emphasising the need for additional points at the top of the main scales.
                                                                  HQ circular and Renee Prendergast

                              Claims Dismissed
A Fair Employment Tribunal in Belfast spent nearly three weeks last November considering a
complaint by Mr Suresh Deman, a former member of Belfast AUT, against AUT and four named
local officers holding office during the period 1994-96. National UCU funded the legal
representation of the respondents. Mr Deman was appointed as a lecturer on probation in February
1994. In 1995 he had disputes with various members of staff and his employment ended on 29 June
1995. Various local officers assisted him, but not to his satisfaction and he was passed to the
regional official for help. He also sought assistance from AUT HQ.
In finding for the respondents (AUT and the Officers), the tribunal held: “The unanimous decision
of the Tribunal is that the claimant’s claims of unlawful discrimination, whether on the grounds of
sex, religious belief, political opinion and/or by way of victimisation are dismissed against all
respondents.” “The Tribunal is not satisfied … that the claimant has proved facts from which
conclusions could be drawn that he was treated less favourably on grounds of sex, religious belief or
political opinion (and/or victimisation, had these claims not already been dismissed on another
basis). The claimant’s claims against the respondents are therefore dismissed.”
A full copy of the findings is available for inspection in Queen’s UCU office.
                                                                                        Paul Hudson
                               Probation Matters
As reported in earlier Newsletters, the Heads of Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Biomedical
Sciences have been seeking to introduce new criteria for Confirmation in Post following three-year
probation in the guise of an interpretation of existing University-wide criteria agreed with UCU.
UCU finally met with the heads of the two Schools on the 6th of March. Progress was made on
some issues in the course of the meeting and we are now broadly satisfied with the proposed
interpretation of the agreed criteria in the case of Teaching Fellows. Progress was also made on the
profile for lecturers. However, we failed to reach agreement on the issue of research funding.
UCU pointed out that the current University-wide procedures require that an application for research
funding be made as a condition for confirmation in post. The proposal from the relevant Schools
that being a principal investigator on a national project be an essential criterion for confirmation in
post clearly exceeded this. Moreover, we pointed out that the agreed profile for grade 8 referred to
the lecturer contributing to the development of research projects and research funding applications.
In subsequent correspondence we suggested a form wording which would provide the Schools with
a good deal of flexibility but make being a principal investigator a desirable criterion rather than an
essential one.
Sadly, our advice on this issue appears to have been ignored. We have received a letter from the
Director of Human Resources that claims that the reason for this is that being a principal
investigator is a normal criterion for confirmation in post in other Russell Group universities. We
have asked for evidence and so far none has been forthcoming. We made our own inquiries and this
is not the case in UCL, Manchester or Leeds — important Russell Group universities with which we
would wish to compare ourselves. Moreover, UCU colleagues at these universities could not
believe that Queen’s were attempting to apply the proposed new criteria retrospectively. We agree.
Russell Group standards please!
We expect to formally register our failure to reach agreement on the proposed changes towards the
end of this week. It will then be necessary to make sure that the profiles used by the Central
Probation Committee and any appeal committees are those agreed with UCU.
                                                                                Renee Prendergast

           Joint Meeting with RCN on 17 April
Queen’s UCU has about 90 members in the School of Nursing and Midwifery and many of them are
joint members with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). On 17 April UCU and the RCN are
hosting the first of a series of professional Master Classes for nurse educators. The aim is to
provide at a local level opportunities for nurse educators to access the latest information about
reform and modernisation in the health and social care service, and the nursing and midwifery
professions. The meeting is open to anyone working in these areas.
The meeting will be in Rooms 2 & 3, Clinical Skills Laboratory, School of Nursing &
Midwifery, Medical Biology Centre. Lunch will be provided at noon and, following a welcome
from Renee Prendergast, Mary Hinds, Director RCN, will speak at 12.30 on “Reform in the Health
and Social Care Service.” She will be followed by Janice Smyth, Deputy Director RCN, speaking
on “Update of Professional Regulation/Agenda for Change”. There will be time for questions
and the meeting should finish by 1.40 p.m.
If you are interested in attending could you please contact: Anna Marie Boyd, Conference
Administrator, Royal College of Nursing, telephone no: 028 9038 4600 or email anna-
UCU is working closely with our colleagues within the health unions with whom we have joint
membership arrangements, and as part of this we have organised a conference on the future of
health education on 22 April 2008 in central London. If you are directly involved in the delivery of
health education, this conference is open to you.
We want this conference to provide a forum for a key stakeholder group to engage in that debate.
We expect the conference to encourage debate around the following issues:
• Why there is a need for change in the delivery of healthcare (Professor Lord Darzi has been
  invited to address the conference);
• The financial backdrop to these changes (Professor John Appleby from the King’s Fund has
  agreed to attend);
• Workforce impact (panel discussion: contributions from health unions);
• The effect on health educators (UCU);
• Working collectively to achieve our aims.
If you would like to attend, please email Afshan Khan ( with your name
and institution. If the conference is oversubscribed, UCU members and those people already holding
joint membership with the BAOT, CSP, RCN, RCM, or SoR will be given priority.
                                                                                       HQ circular

             UCU Political Fund Review Ballot
Trade unions that hold a political fund must ballot their members on the retention of this fund every
10 years. UCU members will be balloted over the retention of UCU’s political fund in April. The
last day for the return of ballot papers to the scrutineer will be Wednesday 30 April.
The ballot material that members will receive consists of a voting paper and an explanatory
statement. UCU uses the fund for political lobbying, but it does not support political parties. In
Northern Ireland the subscription does not automatically include a contribution to the political fund
(currently 1%). Members may opt to pay the contribution by signing a form from the UCU office.
                                                                                        Paul Hudson

               Special Event for UCU Women
UCU are holding a special event for UCU Women on Wednesday 7 May 2008 at Britannia Street in
central London. The women’s event will provide a fantastic networking opportunity for members to
share experiences, ideas and information in a safe and friendly environment and provide an
introduction to the variety of areas of UCU membership. The day will include an insight into the
experiences of being women trade unionists from UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt and UCU
President Linda Newman. Workshops include: Implementing the gender equality duty and keeping
women’s issues on the branch agenda; The gender pay gap and barriers to promotion; Confidence in
speaking out; Work-related stress: organising around the issues. You will also have the rare
opportunity to view a film by the TUC entitled: ‘The equal pay story: scenes from a turbulent past’ –
a historical documentary tracing the struggle for equal pay from the 1880s. The day will be rounded
off with refreshments and an opportunity to get to know each other! Developing Activists Network
(DAN) events are aimed at new members who have not yet attended any formal UCU training or
who are not yet holding a formal branch position. Attendance at DAN events is free, reasonable
costs, including travel and childcare will be reimbursed from central funds. Places are limited so
sign up now here:
                                                                                        HQ circular

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