UCU at the college would like to absolutely clear about why the consultation period has had to be extended. College began holding meetings with affected groups of staff before UCU had received formal notification that a process was due to begin. Consultation cannot commence before the trade union/s have been provided with the necessary information. We are extremely disappointed that Bournemouth and Poole management did not provide the necessary information to UCU in a timely way, and our regional support official wrote to Diane Grannell immediately to register this concern. We have now received the required S188 letter and some of the relevant information we need. UCU requested an extension to the collective consultation period which has now been agreed.
UCU is currently meeting with the college weekly to discuss the process. If anyone has an issue they’d like us to raise please let us know. At the moment we are focusing on the matrix that might be used to select members of staff for particular roles. The College has proposed that the areas of comparison should be, skills and qualifications; experience; performance records; mandatory training and disciplinary records. There would be a score out of 5 given for each area. UCU feel that the matrix process has not been sufficiently thought through. If you have any thoughts on this let us know.
We are also discussing whether or not the process is fair in terms of Equality of Opportunity. If you have any thoughts on this, again let us know.
There are a number of ways redundancies might be avoided, reduced or their effects mitigated. These include, finding other savings; recruitment freezes; cuts to agency staff; temporary cuts to overtime or discretionary benefits; short-term salary freezes; pay cuts; temporary flexible working arrangements; sabbaticals; secondment; unpaid leave; increased part-time work and home-working to reduce overheads and job shares. You should make sure all of these possibilities have been explored in your area. Failure to explore all reasonable ideas exposes the employer to the risk of a protective award (compensation for the employee).
We’d like to hear from any members under threat of redundancy who are currently being funded by the college to complete education or training courses.