Tuesday, 21 June 2011

PENSIONS @ Middlesex

The Branch is currently arranging briefing sessions for Staff and UNISON members on each campus regarding the proposed Pension changes and any resulting action that UNISON may take nationally over this issue. We will inform you when these have been arranged. Details of national UNISON strategy regarding Pensions is available here information on Pensions in general is available here

There will also be time to discuss other issues such as Redundancies at Middlesex. Further dates will be posted here when they are confirmed and further information distributed via email / workplace reps. 

The Briefing at the Archway Campus is scheduled for Monday 27th 12 - 1:30pm in the Conference Room 3rd Floor of the Furnival Building.

The Briefing at the Hendon Campus is scheduled for Thursday 7th 12 -1:30pm in room C210

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Middlesex UNISON Statement in response to Vice Chancellor

Dear UNISON Member,

The announcement by the Vice Chancellor (Michael Driscoll) of up to 200 posts to be cut (access via intranet only) is shocking and represents a betrayal of trust to all University Staff.

The University Executive has led staff to believe "The University is in a comparatively strong position in the UK higher education sector" and "we enter this era in good shape" (MDX University Financial Statement 2009 / 10) and in the statement on the 3rd of May “The University’s sound financial management places us in a far better position than many other institutions.”

Today's announcement shows these statements to be hollow and meaningless. As Middlesex University Staff and Union members we have every reason to feel angry, betrayed and misled today.

The £10 million funding shortfall is not of our making. The University has pursued a policy of expanding student numbers even though the HEFCE fines that Middlesex have incurred "illustrate the inability of universities to boost income through expansion" (Times Higher Education)

The University has pursued its business strategy, asking for staff to undergo restructures and campus closures whilst promoting our achievements in improving the student experience. This is our reward.

This UNISON branch is currently in dispute with the University over Redundancies, as a branch we lobbied the Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday 7th June. Despite the unions efforts, it is now apparent this meeting was used to agree these plans.

The 90 day consultation period over these redundancies has now officially started.

At the AGM and EGM Middlesex UNISON members have voted to support motions to oppose Compulsory redundancies.

We ask you, the members, to back the motions you voted for and support the Branch in whatever action we need to take to oppose these attacks on our jobs.

It is time to fight to defend our jobs and defend Higher Education at Middlesex University.

We will keep you informed of developments. The Branch will call an EGM and we urge all members to make every effort to attend this meeting and any other associated meetings called.

Middlesex UNISON Branch Committee

Vice Chancellor Announcement of Compulsory Redundancies

The announcement made via email Middlesex University Staff on 9th June. The University is looking at up to 200 job losses with the first 100 to go within the next 90 days. The email can be read here but only on MDX computers (via the intarnet)

MDX UNISON's response is shown above.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Middlesex University Branch Lobby of the Board of Governors

Tuesday 7th June around 25 - 30 UNISON Branch Members gathered at the Hendon campus to Lobby the Board of Governors over Redundancies and Outsourcing at Middlesex University. The lobby was organised by the Middlesex Unison Branch to support the dispute with the University Executive over compulsory redundancies in the School of Arts and Education and plans to outsource jobs from other sections of the University.

The Branches key points in the dispute are:
  • A review of the implementation of the redeployment policy to make it easier for members to apply for alternative employment within the University.
  • A recruitment freeze on external appointments while there are any employees facing redundancy.
  • An agreed meaningful redundancy avoidance policy
  • A significantly enhanced voluntary redundancy package.
  • An agreement to minimise outsourcing and thereby avoid further jobs being lost to the university.
Branch Secretary Jenny Compton Bishop delivered a letter to the Governors expressing staff and union members belief that
  • We believe that these strategies will seriously impact the student experience and make Middlesex University less rather than more competitive.
  • The proposed reduction in staff numbers through restructuring will seriously undermine the ability of the University to provide a good service and value for money
  • In-house staff provide a better service through demonstrated experience, loyalty and good-will.  The impact of redundancies and outsourcing is a loss of skills to the University and a detrimental effect to staff morale. 
Committee and Branch members spent 2 or so hours talking to staff, students, academics, passer bys and any Governors that were willing to engage with the lobby about the branches dispute and the future of Higher Education in general. The event offered the opportunity for Branch members to exchange experiences and bring their views to the attention of the University governance. However the lobby and the dispute would be overtaken by events in the next few days when it became clear to University staff what had been rubber stamped at the Board of Governors meeting. Photos of the lobby can be accessed by clicking on the link.

MDX Branchlines Extra