Minutes of Branch Meetings

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting, 7/6/21

Minutes of Cambridge University Branch Meeting

 held on 7th June 2021 via Zoom

Meeting started 13.00pm

Present: Will Smith (Secretary), Vernon Schlegel, Robert Arrowsmith, Ian Miller, Mark Hurn, Theresa Jones, Paul Stokes, Andrew Moss (Chair), Roger Tattersall, Trevor Brown, Dina Nayee, Peter Matlock, Simon Dowe, Lori Klimaszewska, Erich Meyer, Anna Halfpenny

Apologies: Trevor Littlewood, Cathy Salkield, Arsalan Ghani,

Minutes and matters arising from previous meeting 

Minutes approved.

National/Regional matters

Pay Negotiations: Final offer is 1.5% with graduated payment of between 3.6% – above 2% for lower grades. UCEA claim that Universities are still struggling in the economic climate.

Branch consensus is that the offer is not good. A show of hands showed that 30% of those present would be willing to take industrial action. We understand that there is to be a nationwide consultative ballot on this.

COVID-19: Nationally there are concerns about the uncertainty of ventilation of workplaces. Consensus within the meeting showed that we do not share that concern. 

General Secretary election: Branch has nominated Sharon Graham

RISC: Outsourcing has been identified as a major issue within the sector. How to combat outsourcing workshop to take place 14th July 2021.

Branch matters

Correspondence: General Secretary Nomination Form have been dispatched.

Training: Reps are encouraged to take up an offer of online training.

Organising: Branch membership remains stable.

CampaignsCambridge Assessment – University Press merger

(from previous minutes) Branch to support colleagues in the University Press branch as they negotiate recognition in the merged entity. No news since last meeting.

Bullying: Mutual respect policy was released – and then withdrawn as VC cowed by bullies claiming the right to freedom of speech. It has now been relaunched with some offending sentences removed.

Health and Safety – Ventilation (From last meeting) A number of members had raised concerns about adequate ventilation of rooms in light of the COVID pandemic. The University Safety office has simplified further the Tool Kit guideline to enable staff to evaluate ventilation in a room. There were concerns from the floor that this may force people to share smaller offices with colleagues who may be infected.

Attendees of today’s meeting seemed less concerned about this

Job Evaluation: No news.

Social Media. Mark Hurn reported that there had been a rise in the number of followers of our twitter account, which coincided with our announcement that we had nominated Sharon Graham.

Agile working: (from last meeting) Roger and Theresa attended a discussion with HR concerning Agile working. Noted: Agile working was first introduced in the IT industry and was billed as working “anytime, anywhere, anyhow”. The University is looking more at flexible working (but calling it Agile working). It is early days. The idea is to have an informal, non-contractual agreement which allows staff (who want to) to work from home several days a week. Could possibly be used as a benefit to recruit new staff.

Concerns: Could this be abused? Days changed at whim by management. Or employee? Not everyone can enjoy it.  Largest saving would be travel. A large number of low earners have to work in the workplace. No savings for them. This saving may be offset by the costs of heating etc at home.

It is very obviously “early days” and more discussions are needed.

No Further news

Forthcoming Workplace Action Group Meetings

Reps Meetings every Wednesday – 12.00 – 13.00

Safety Reps meetings every Thursday – 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


2 received. Arsalan Ghani was not present to talk to the motions. Deferred to next meeting.


No other business.

Date of next branch meeting 5th July 2021

Meeting closed 2.15 pm

WHS 7/6/21