Assimilation of Hourly-Paid Staff onto the Pay Spine: Ballot Overwhelmingly in Favour

The branch has voted overwhelmingly for the agreement to bring hourly-paid staff onto the single pay spine.
Many thanks to everyone who voted, and again our congratulations and thanks to our negotiators who have worked hard on this agreement for so long.

If you still have concerns or queries about how this agreement will affect you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk

Assimilation of Hourly-Paid Staff onto the Pay Spine: Important Information

After many years of negotiating, UCU and the college have reached a draft agreement on the assimilation of hourly paid staff onto the single pay spine. This is currently being balloted among all Goldsmiths UCU members, with the ballot closing on the 22nd of July. Members should email their vote to goldsmithsucuballot@gmail.com. Votes will be checked by the Goldsmiths UCU Administrator and an independent Returning Officer.

This ballot is being held to decide on a negotiated agreement for the assimilation of hourly paid, fixed-term and part-time academic staff onto the principles and structures established for other staff in the Framework Agreement (2008), which made a commitment to extend its provisions to such staff on equal terms.

Since 2008 our Goldsmith UCU branch has sought to negotiate terms, a process which stalled for several years. Last year, however, the project was restarted in earnest. Negotiations over the terms of the agreement have been long and arduous but constructive. The result is a deal that has arrived late in the summer, but which is available for implementation at the start of the next academic year, depending on your decision in this ballot.

The Goldsmiths UCU Executive recommends a YES vote: the document we recommend compares very favourably with other agreements in the sector and has been agreed by the UCU National Ratification Committee. Its central provisions are:

·      Goldsmiths Framework Agreement compliant

·       Teaching roles assimilated to benchmarked Grade, with a G7 (Ac2) minimum except where they are Graduate Tutors – i.e. PhD students teaching – then they are on Grade 6 (AC1) for one year as a training grade (with training included) before being moved on to G7.

·      Incremental progression within grades consistent with full time staff.

·      Progression between grades consistent with full time staff.

·      Progression within and between grades effective from FA implementation date ie backdated to 2006.

·      All teaching (theory and practice) paid with multiplier of x2.25 for each hour of teaching contact time (including 0.1 for routine administration)

·      Monitoring/oversight of classroom activity (non teaching) paid at a multiplier of x1.8.

·      Marking time paid additionally at flat rate according to wordcount-per-minute model.

·      Additional itemised administrative tasks paid at flat rate in addition to teaching multiplier.

·      Transfer to minimum hours permanent contracts after 4 years of continuous service, with option to fractional contract where hours are in excess of 150 pa (0.1 FTE).

·      Where deal increases pay, pay is backdated to FA implementation date: ie 2006, with the calculation based on individual departmental averages.

·      Where deal reduces pay, pay protection for 12 months from point of implementation ie 2013/14.

·      Same terms and conditions of service for all staff who fall within the fixed term and part term working regulations (i.e. all staff except occasional visiting speakers)

Many of you will know that the norm in the sector is for a multiplier of x2.5, with marking and administration rolled up in that figure. The Goldsmiths teaching multiplier is at 2.25 to allow for marking and additional administration to be paid separately: a fairer recognition of variation of work. The time spent marking is calculated using a word-count-minute model, as laid down in Appendix 3 of the agreement.

The Goldsmiths multiplier 2.25 applies to all teaching, as indicated in Appendix 1 of the agreement. There is a lower multiplier for the monitoring/oversight of classes where no transfer of knowledge is involved.

There was a special meeting discussing the agreement  on 8 July. You can read the notes from that meeting here. There are also notes from earlier discussions here. If you haven’t already been sent the agreement itself, please emailgucu-admin@gold.ac.uk requesting a copy.

If you weren’t able to make the last branch meeting, in which Ben Levitas discussed the agreement, you can read the minutes at http://goldsmithsucu.org/content/general-meeting-minutes-11-jun-2013 (item 2).

If you still want to discuss the agreement before voting, our representative for Part Time and Hourly Paid Staff, Brendan Donegan, has also set up a secure online discussion forum (see below for details on how to access the forum).

To access the forum:
1. Set up a crabgrass account at https://we.riseup.net/account/signup
2. Search for the group “Goldsmiths Staff Forum” (you will find it if you search for groups and look at “Recently Added”).
3. Send a request to join.
4. Once you are added, click on “Discussions” on the left-hand side, and then select “Discussion on fractionalisation agreement”. This should make it possible for you to read what others have posted, and to post comments yourself.

If you have any questions about the forum, email Brendan at brendandonegan@hotmail.com

Ballot: Assimilation of Hourly-Paid Staff onto the Pay Spine

After many years of negotiating, UCU and the college have reached a draft agreement on the assimilation of hourly paid staff onto the single pay spine. This will be subject to ratification by UCU nationally and will go out to ballot of all Goldsmiths UCU members next week, with the ballot opening on the 8th of July and closing on the 22nd of July. At this time, members will be able to email their vote to goldsmithsucuballot@gmail.com. Votes will be checked by the Goldsmiths UCU Administrator and an independent Returning Officer.

The agreement aims to bring hourly-paid staff, visiting tutors and fractional staff into alignment with the Framework Agreement that brought all staff onto same pay spine in 2008. If you weren’t able to make the last branch meeting, in which Ben Levitas discussed the agreement, you can read the minutes at http://goldsmithsucu.org/content/general-meeting-minutes-11-jun-2013 (item 2).

There will be a special meeting discussing the agreement at 12pm on the 8th of July in the RHB Cinema. If you’re unable to attend the meeting but still want to discuss the agreement before voting, our representative for Part Time and Hourly Paid Staff, Brendan Donegan, has also set up a secure online discussion forum (see below for details on how to access the forum).

The final agreement, with a note explaining the key points, will be circulated to all members by email.

To access the forum:
1. Set up a crabgrass account at https://we.riseup.net/account/signup
2. Search for the group “Goldsmiths Staff Forum” (you will find it if you search for groups and look at “Recently Added”).
3. Send a request to join.
4. Once you are added, click on “Discussions” on the left-hand side, and then select “Discussion on fractionalisation agreement”. This should make it possible for you to read what others have posted, and to post comments yourself.

If you have any questions about the forum, email Brendan at brendandonegan@hotmail.com

People’s Assembly Against Austerity: Report From Our Delegate

Delegates from Goldsmiths joined with over 4000 other people to attend the first national meeting of the People’s Assembly against Austerity in Central Hall, Westminster on Saturday 22nd June. It was a fantastic atmosphere of unity and determination to escalate and coordinate the opposition to cuts that are devastating communities, weakening public services and impoverishing growing numbers of people. The message was clear: we don’t want a few cuts or cuts in some places; we don’t want any cuts. The government’s austerity programme is ‘unjust, immoral and undemocratic’.

The opening rally heard from speakers including Frances O’Grady (TUC General Secretary), Owen Jones and Mark Steel. The Assembly then broke into workshops that discussed, for example, how to defend the NHS and public education, how to turn the tide on racism and anti-immigration discourses, what kind of tactics do we need in the anti-austerity movement, and how we can organise local People’s Assemblies. The final rally heard from a range of speakers including several union general secretaries who spoke of the need for militant action to break the government’s austerity agenda. One of the most powerful speeches about the impact of the cuts was from the comedian Francesca Martinez.

The Assembly adopted a statement that includes support for a national demonstration to defend the NHS outside Conservative Party conference on 29 September 2013 and for a national day of civil disobedience and direct action against austerity on November 5th. You can read the full statement at http://thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/draft-statement/.

It was the biggest single political meeting that I have ever been to and let’s hope that it marks the beginning of a genuine diverse, inclusive and powerful movement against austerity.

Dr Des Freedman
Reader in Communications and Cultural Studies
Secretary, Goldsmiths UCU