Our Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC) held its latest regular meeting on Wednesday 10 November. The JSNCC is the main forum in which staff and trade union representatives meet with management representatives to discuss key developments across the University, particularly those that will impact staff. Find out more about JSNCC and how the reps can help you have your voice heard.
Updates from the November meeting
Q+A with the Vice-Chancellor
Our Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox joined the first section of the meeting to answer questions from the reps, including a number which were submitted in advance. This covered a range of areas, including her role in bringing together the different aspects of the University and coordinating our strategic delivery; how we work with Universities UK, who are a representative body that lobbies on behalf of universities; her upcoming role as a board member for the Universities and Colleges Employers Association; and how we can improve communication and feedback loops to Executive Group, including through further developing our staff webchat series and through new initiatives to support employer engagement that will come via our People and Culture Strategy.
Wellbeing and Workload
Following the recent recommendations from the Wellbeing Working Group, work has begun to scope out the focus groups needed to gather detailed information on issues regarding workload. At the meeting, it was agreed that ahead of this we should run an all-staff survey so we can identify particular areas of concern to then explore in depth. The aim is that this survey will be sent out before the end of term and will run through till early January, with the focus groups then expected in February once the results have been analysed, leading into action planning by the end of March 2022.
A regular update on KentVision was provided, following on from the well-attended Staff Webchat earlier that week. Further clarity was provided on the Features and Functionality Business Analysis workstream for the project, which is there to sense-check and confirm prior work undertaken on the key things we need the new system to be able to do.
Job Grade Review
Our usual Job Grade Review process for professional service staff was suspended throughout Organising for Success. The Committee agreed that this should now relaunch, with the process for 2021/22 including a central committee that moderates evaluations carried out by local HR teams. Any regrades agreed will be backdated to 1 October 2021.
University Kindness Charter
As part of our Inclusive Allyship programme, a proposal was put forward to adopt a University Kindness Charter that sets out the positive behaviours we all want to adopt. Workstream members will be updating this following feedback from JSNCC ahead of circulation to Executive Group. Next meeting: Wednesday 8 December 2021 Find our more about JSNCC.