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Minutes of Branch Meetings

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting 2/8/21

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting held on 2nd August 2021 via Zoom

Meeting started 13.00pm

1.  Present: Will Smith (Branch Secretary), Lori Klimaszewska, Andrew Moss (Chair), Paul Stokes (Treasurer), Robert Arrowsmith, Jolanda Aldis-Clark, Mark Hurn, Marian Reusch, Arsalan Ghani, Dina Nayee, Simon Dowe, Roger Tattersall, Ian Millar, Vernon Schlegel.

2. Apologies: Grace Hadley, Trevor Littlewood, Cathy Salkield, Joy McSharry.

3. Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting 

Minutes approved

4. National/Regional matters

Pay Negotiations: Final offer is 1.5% with graduated payment of above 2% for lower grades. Unite held a national consultative ballot which ended on 8th July. Most present agreed that they had received a ballot paper either by post or by email. The Chair urged those who did not receive a ballot paper to contact the branch secretary so that we can check their address against the branch database.

Arsalan Ghani reported from the National Committee meeting held on 8th July. Based on email returns only, 70% have voted to reject the offer. Unite will register a dispute with UCEA, and, subject to the returns of the paper ballot a formal ballot for industrial action will be held in the autumn. A decision is to be made at the September national meeting.

COVID 19: Unite is working hard to ensure that the Department of Education understands the safety issues surrounding COVID and a gradual return to work.

Pensions: USS Trustees have indicated that contributions to the scheme may have to increase in September.

Questions from the Floor: Will the 1.5% pay increase be imposed on 1st August? If UCEA follow usual practice, yes. But it is usually not paid until the end of September and backdated to August.

Noted: CPI is close to 3%. A 1.5% increase is a pay cut in real terms. Even so our national committee is not sure that given the current climate Unite members will want to take industrial action.

Regional Meetings: Arsalan Ghani reported from regional committee. Regional membership has fallen slightly across most industrial sectors. This is due to redundancies and early retirements. The Education Sector has risen slightly. Unite is facing unprecedented difficulties from redundancies, fire and rehire schemes. There is a high number of disputes across all sectors.

Noted: Branch Officer elections to take place Spring 2022.

5. Branch matters

a. Correspondence: There have been number of notifications relating to industrial action across the region

b. Training: Regional training: How to deal with the threat of outsourcing: September 2021

Organisational change October 2021. Details to be posted on the website

c. Campaigns: Branch reps are dealing with several organisational changes.

d. Health and Safety – Risk Assessments: The University Safety Division has released new Return to work Risk assessments. Links available on CU Unite Website.

e. Organising: Branch membership remains stable. Branch thanked the branch chair Andrew Moss for his service over many years. He retires this year but will remain in post until Spring 2022.

Noted that branch has registered a request for collective bargaining rights for academic related staff. Volunteers sought to create a recognition agreement working party.

It is important that we do not lose the UAJB negotiating format.

f. Social Media: Mark Hurn reported that numbers of followers of our twitter account continue to rise, this coincides with our announcement that we have nominated Sharon Graham

g. Any other matters:

Job Evaluation: No news.

Agile working: No Further news.

Forthcoming Workplace Action Group Meetings

Reps Meetings every Wednesday 12.00 – 13.00

Social Media meetings every Friday 12.00-13.00

These meetings are via Zoom and are open to all branch members.

6. Motions: None received.

7. Date of next branch meeting 12th September 2021

Meeting closed 2.15pm