- The end for national pay negotiations?
- Salary Sacrifice Schemes
- Recruitment and Retention Premium and Market Forces Pay Policies
- Future of engineering courses in doubt, say academics
- Unite evidence to the Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee’s hearing into the science budget allocation
- HEFCE and Salix launch fund to reduce greenhouse gases
- University forced to consult staff under information and consultation of employees regulations
- Applications fall as study options narrow
- Raising the Professional Profile of Technical/Specialist Staff
- Watch Your Step in Education – HSE courses
The end for national pay negotiations?
Colleagues will have seen the press reports following UCU’s ballot result rejecting single table bargaining and a streamlined negotiating process. AS previous Circulars from Mike Robinson indicated this could have an impact on the future of national negotiations. Read the link below for press speculation on this. The latest news is UCU are trying to get UCEA to meet and negotiate further but UCEA have issued its own press release saying the negotiations are now closed but UCU can join everyone else at the single table as the door is being “left open”. Read UCEA’s Press release and Briefing note or The report in the Independent:
Salary Sacrifice Schemes
Several institutions in the Higher Education sector have been developing Salary Sacrifice Schemes or Smart pension arrangements.
This is an increasingly popular device to reduce the cost of pensions. Essentially, it involves employees’ salaries being reduced by the amount of their pension contributions and those contributions instead being paid directly by the employer.
There is now advice on university schemes on the Unite Amicus section website and also a page where you can find details of already agreed deals. Click here to find out more:
If you are being offered a salary sacrifice scheme at your institution please let National Officer Mike Robinson know.
Recruitment and Retention Premium and Market Forces Pay Policies
There is a new section on the Unite Amicus section website with details about RRP and Market forces policies from various institutions. It is only accessible for workplace reps and branch sectaries:
Future of engineering courses in doubt, say academics
Universities are losing money running engineering courses and cannot afford to update ageing equipment, academics warned today.
The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and the Engineering Professors’ Council (EPC) claim the sustainability and the future quality of teaching is under threat because of the imbalance between the amount of public funding universities get and how much it actually costs them to teach engineering.
A study by JM Consulting commissioned by ETB and EPC looked at differences in the costs of four universities in England in 2005-06, covering a wide range of engineering disciplines.
It found that equipment was often old and out of date and universities are increasingly depending on fees from non-EU students to make up the shortfall in funds.
Both ETB and EPC are calling for the level of funding universities get by 14% from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) to be revised to reflect the true costs of teaching engineering in universities. Read more in the Education Guardian or read the study.
Unite evidence to the Innovation, Universities and Skills Committee’s hearing into the science budget allocation
In response to cuts to physics grants Unite has submitted evidence to the Innovation, Universities and Skill’s Committee on science budget allocations.
Unite made it clear that these cuts would lead to unacceptable redundancies and course closures. The changes would have a major impact on the UK skills strategy and UK ‘s international physics standing in. Read the submission.
HEFCE and Salix launch fund to reduce greenhouse gases
Higher education institutions (HEIs) in England will benefit from a new fund to provide repayable grants for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This fund will be a partnership between HEFCE and Salix Finance Ltd (Salix) with both parties committing significant funds. HEFCE and Salix expect that there will be a combined total of around £30-40 million to distribute over the three years from 2008 (see here).
Also see further articles on the environmental performance of the HE sector:
University forced to consult staff under information and consultation of employees regulations
Bournemouth University is the UK ‘s first higher education institution to become subject to a law requiring businesses to give their staff greater access to financial information and to consult them over decisions.
Under the Information and Consultation of Employees regulations, which came into force in 2005, staff have a right to be informed and consulted about key decisions likely to affect their employment. The law also entitles employees to information about their employer’s economic situation.
Universities are not automatically required to inform and consult; the duty is triggered only by a formal request from employees to negotiate an ICE agreement or by the employer choosing to start the process. Read more in the Time Highe. or Read more about the ICE regulations.
Applications fall as study options narrow
New university admissions rules giving students a narrower range of course choices have left some universities facing a dramatic drop in applications for degrees starting in the autumn.
The new system, designed to encourage students to think more carefully about where they want to study, means that applicants may choose a maximum of only five courses instead of the previous six.
The sector had been warned that this could mean a potential drop in applications of about 17 percent, or a sixth. But 21 institutions have seen a fall in applications in excess of this figure, while 14 have run counter to expectations and increased applications (excluding small institutions with fewer than 1,000 degree applications).
Overall, the average drop in applications was 9.2 per cent. Read more about the statistics in the Times Higher Education supplement.
Raising the Professional Profile of Technical/Specialist Staff
(A one day joint HEaTED/IST Conference)
Among the speakers already confirmed for this event are: John Perkins, (Dean and Vice President, University Manchester/Chair of the HEATED project), Jacqueline Goodall, University of Leeds , John Robinson, (Chair IST), Bob Hardwick (HEaTED Project Consultant) Matt Levi (HEaTED Project Manager).
Venue: Whitworth Hall, University of Manchester .
Date: Tuesday, 10th June 2008.
Fee: £75.00 per delegate inclusive of coffee/tea and lunch.
£60.00 per delegate if nominating 5 delegates or more.
Completed nomination forms should be returned by Friday 2nd May 2008 to:
Wendy Mason, Institute of Science & Technology, 90 Rockingham Street , Sheffield S1 4EB or fax: 0114 272 6354 Get the flyer.
Watch Your Step in Education – HSE courses
55% of all accidents in education are caused by a slip or a trip. Last year, almost 2000 major injury slip and trip accidents in the education sector were reported to the Health and Safety Executive, 571 of which were to employees, a 5% rise on the previous year. 90% of major accidents resulted in a broken bone causing considerable personal distress and a significant amount of time away from work.To attend the Health and Safety executives courses follow the links. Web site.
To register an interest in attending an event , fill in the contact us page.
This e-bulletin has been produced by James Lazou, Research Officer for the Higher Education sector. If you have any news items or stories you would like included in the bulletin please contact James at: