We have an important update and some advice for Arts & Humanities members about a communication you will shortly be receiving. Some of you will receive an email from HR informing you that you are being ‘pooled’ for reselection as a member of staff in A&H and inviting you to fill out a form: in essence, you are being asked to reapply for your post. We believe that up to 100 staff will be contacted with this communication.
We are writing to reassure you of the present agreement that there will be no compulsory redundancies in Arts & Humanities as a result of the Arts & Humanities review.
The exact wording UCU received from Karen Cox is as follows:
‘Karen and the Executive Group wish to provide a further specific commitment to all Arts and Humanities staff that there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of the current review.’
Yesterday your negotiators met with HR and senior management and asked them to reaffirm that commitment and they have done so.
Accordingly, please don’t be panicked by the letter you may shortly receive from HR and don’t feel pressured to rush into any action. The aim of this ‘selection process’ is to intimidate individuals into taking Voluntary Redundancy. As a union, we stand strong together.
Our immediate advice is as follows:
- Do not act upon the letters about to be sent to staff in A&H: await further UCU guidance. The local branch is receiving appropriate guidance from senior regional UCU staff & leading national organisers. We aim to have this ready by early next week.
- Never agree to “voluntary redundancy” against your will. Remember we have a deal of no compulsory redundancies as a result of the A&H review, so no staff member should feel pressured to take VR. Our earlier guidance, updated and available here still applies.
- As compulsory redundancies are off the table, their only credible threat is selection for redeployment outside of the Division.
- IMPORTANT: Even if you are selected for redeployment outside of the Division, you do not need to accept any other post that is not legally ‘Suitable Alternative Employment’ (SAE), which needs to retain your pay/grade. Kent HR’s definition of SAE is: Suitable alternative employment (SAE) – a vacancy where the skills and knowledge sought to fill the vacancy match the skills and knowledge of the redeployee with, or without, further training. The following criteria are usually used to determine whether a post is ‘suitable alternative employment’:
- The employee has the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience to perform the new role.
- The terms and conditions of the work are no less favourable, e.g. similar status, location, job duties, pay/grade, hours and responsibility.
- Even as a potential redeployee, you will remain employed under your current salary and spinal point until you accept SAE. HR confirmed yesterday that all redeployees remain paid employees whilst they find alternative work within the institution.
- Your local UCU committee did not consent to EG’s new mass ‘selection’ process. EG are trying to misrepresent the union: don’t let them divide and conquer.