Our Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC) held its latest regular meeting on 11 May. 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 May meeting
People and Culture Strategy
Deputy Director of HR Nikki Hyde gave an update on the development of our People and Culture Strategy, which is being finalised following a series of focus groups with colleagues across the University. The Strategy is about how staff can be best supported to get the most out of their time at Kent, wherever they work and whatever they do. JSNCC discussed how we can ensure this becomes fully embedded with tangible positive impact for staff, including the importance of engaging staff in the strategy in ways appropriate to where they work. It will also dovetail with a wider programme of staff engagement activities throughout the year, making sure we make the most of being largely back on campus again.
Wellbeing and Workload
This continues to be a key priority, both for the JSNCC reps and for the University’s Executive Group. Concerns were raised about the need for join up across projects to ensure that additional pressure doesn’t get put on staff by multiple change initiatives happening at the same time. The Project Management Office has recently put in place a new Project and Programme Portfolio Board which should help with prioritisation of projects and avoiding such conflicts in future. The Committee also discussed the recent workload and wellbeing survey, with a wider update for staff on the outcomes of this due shortly.
A regular update on KentVision was provided, with the latest project update available on the Staff News pages. This remains a key area of concern for the Committee, with reps reporting pressures around the aspects of the project expected for delivering by August. However, there has also been progress in some areas, with all recognising the need for more regular comms on areas where things are improving.
Covid-19 and Health and Safety
Following recent Government announcements on ‘Living with Covid’, our current Covid-19 Pay Policy will be removed from 31 May.
JSNCC were advised that the Safety, Health and Environment Executive Committee (SHEEC), a sub-committee of Council, is being replaced by a new management committee, with Audit Committee taking over the monitoring role for Council. JSNCC discussed the arrangements for staff consultation on health and safety, with reps stating a preference for retaining dedicated consultation meetings rather than health and safety being absorbed into main JSNCC meetings.
Staff Development Policy
The Committee discussed the challenges with evenly implementing the Staff Development Policy, with a sense that due to disparities in budget allocation not all areas are in a position to fully deliver on the policy commitments. While it was generally agreed that Kent values the development and career progression of its staff, the Talent & Organisational Development team was asked to look further into the way staff development budgets are allocated and spent across different areas.
Next meeting is 22 June 2022.