QMUCU branch members support the motion on collective grievance and ending the ‘recruitment freeze’

Please find below the latest QMUCU branch motion, passed at an all members branch meeting on 19 August 2020.

The Queen Mary branch of the University and College Union (QMUCU) notes  that:

  • QMUL states ‘that the overarching endeavour of the Queen Mary recruitment policy is to facilitate a transparent, fair and equitable recruitment process for both staff and candidate alike’.
  • A ‘recruitment freeze’ has been in place on contracts and contractual variations since March 23, 2020, unless approved by a panel.
  • At least 399 contracts have not been renewed or will end in redundancy on or before August 31 as a result of this freeze.
  • The process of ending these fixed term contracts has been followed inconsistently throughout the institution.
  • Colleagues who are legally entitled to permanent contracts because of their length of service have not had their claims heard or had them unfairly refused. 
  • The process of allocating work to fixed term staff for the next academic year (particularly in relation to Teaching Associates and Teaching Fellows) has not been transparent and has been inconsistently applied throughout the institution
  • Senior management has refused to accept that any planned redundancies fall under S.188 which includes an obligation to formally consult with relevant trade unions before carrying out any redundancies
  • Senior management have not supplied any data, minutes, terms of references, and panel membership connected to the recruitment process under COVID.
  • The Covid-19 Joint Consultative Forum (Covid-19 JCF) meetings that began in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, are not officially minuted despite repeated requests from the Trade Unions
  • The recent (18th August) public commitment from the principal to provide equal access to QMUL for an extra 500 students will result in an potential increase in income of over £4.5 million each year for three years in addition to a significant increase in workload to accommodate those students.

The branch therefore:

  • Endorses the collective grievance submitted by QMUCU on 10 August 2020, highlighting the inadequacies and inconsistencies in institutional processes.

The branch also calls for senior management to:

  • Stand by its stated commitment to a recruitment and redundancy process that is ‘transparent, fair and equitable’.
  • Provide access to relevant data, minutes, terms of references, and panel membership connected to the decision process for the non renewal of contracts and claims to permanency  under COVID-19.
  • Renew fixed term contracts set to expire on or before 31st August. 
  • Immediately end the ‘recruitment freeze’ and the planned budget cuts.

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