The Vice Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, and the President of the University of Nottingham UCU Branch, Dr Matt Green, met yesterday (Monday 12 March, 2018) for informal conversations on the current national industrial action.
Recognising the national positions of UCU and UUK, as the respective staff and employer representatives, the following points were discussed:
- mutual agreement to explore ways in which specific cases of staff hardship due to pay deduction might be alleviated through the approach to deductions taken by the University, while acknowledging that pay deductions for strike days will continue to be made;
- the importance of a long-term sustainable USS which delivers good pensions to all members;
- mutual support for ACAS-mediated talks between UCU and UUK as currently the best means to identify a solution to the national dispute;
- joint commitment to the rights of all staff to follow their conscience in deciding whether or not to participate in industrial action free from bullying or intimidation;
- joint reassertion of commitment to free and civil debate, welcoming the fact that this has been the overwhelming case to date, and noting that personal attacks, abusive or offensive language and intimidating behaviour – online or in person – have no place on our campus; including responses to striking staff and non-striking staff on social media, in departmental communications or on picket lines;
- UCU concerns over the use of lecture capture recordings and an agreement to further meetings to discuss this matter, while acknowledging that the University’s position is that recordings represent possible supplementary learning materials and are not an alternative to face-to-face teaching.