Statute 18 consultation extended
Dear UCU member,
In this newsletter:
- Statute 18 consultation extended
- UCU's formal response to consultation
- A correction + an unreserved apology
1. STATUTE 18 CONSULTATION EXTENDED
UCL Senior Management has acquiesced to UCU's call to extend
the consultation over Statute 18 into the Autumn term. This
demand was supported by all three trade unions, the student union
UCLU, and called for in a petition to the Provost which had, by
10 July, garnered the names of over 250 professors and other members
of Academic Board.
The decision was circulated to staff in a UCL
News Email on 27 July.
We call on Management to take this opportunity to genuinely incorporate
the views of the majority of the university in any future proposal
through negotiating with the trade unions. In particular as a result
of this decision, a timescale for negotiation is now possible which
would allow us to consult with our members over any proposed changes
in their contractual rights during term-time. Further meetings with
management are proposed from September, and (naturally) we will
keep members informed.
2. UCU'S FORMAL RESPONSE TO CONSULTATION
Following the July meeting of Academic Board, UCU submitted
a detailed response to the management proposal. The letter discusses
three ways forward for consultation, including adoption of the UCU
Model Statute (attached as an appendix), and our position on these
different approaches. It discusses how complaints over Academic
Freedom may be addressed and the applicability of statutes to all
It also spells out your union's "red lines" we believe
are not negotiable:-
"In summary, any proposal adopted by management will be
unacceptable if it does not contain the following three elements:
(a) Retention of Redundancy Committee provisions and any other
hearing where the outcome may be dismissal within Statute;
(b) Procedures for handling other complaints arising at other
times on grounds of Academic Freedom to be within Statute;
(c) Retention in Statute of the right to legally qualified representatives
Our response is here.
3. A CORRECTION + AN UNRESERVED APOLOGY
We wish to correct an element from the report on AB from our
recent all-members email.
We mistakenly stated that Andrea Townsend-Nicholson seemed to be
putting forward a proposal with no mandate at AB. We can now clarify
that as the convenor of the non-professorial group on AB, she has
a mandate to consult non-professorial members, and had put together
the proposal with feedback/agreement from a group of these members
of AB (our original impression was formed through consulting non-professorial
AB members who had not seen the proposals or been consulted, but
this is clearly due to changing email lists). The situation was
complicated by the fact the proposal had been made available to
the Provost in advance of the meeting, but was not then made available
by him to the rest of the Academic Board (we do not know why, and
there is no suggestion that Andrea was in any way at fault here).
This did mean that in the meeting the terms of the proposal being
discussed seemed vague and worrying, as they were not before us
on paper. They were also focused-on by management to the detriment
of other proposals - including those representative of UCL UCU membership.
Having now seen the text these proposals, we do not think they are
objectionable or damaging, but rather complementary, to the proposals
we circulated to all members of AB, with one caveat. The proposals
do not include the retention in statute of legal representation
for academic staff in dismissal proceedings. The retention of legal
representation remains a red line for UCU, and we will continue
to insist on this, and ultimately on expansion by levelling-up,
of all safeguards necessary for the protection of staff and of academic
We wish, nevertheless, to unequivocally apologise to Andrea
for misrepresenting her position and status in the earlier report.
A corrected report has been posted on
our website. The proposal
from the Non-Prof AB members is also posted.
UCL UCU Executive Committee