StAAR : The Unison Response

Unison exists to support and protect its members. Central to this are: Fair Pay, Job Security and Working Conditions.

We, the University of Bradford Branch, engaged with consultation on the University’s StAAR Review for the same reasons.

Unison is, therefore, disappointed with many of the outcomes that were shared yesterday, (Tuesday), following the close of collective consultation.

Our major concerns are the 80+% of staff who have not matched and slotted and the 40+% of staff currently facing a drop in salary.
This puts both people’s pay and job security at risk, something we are vehemently against.

In order to both understand, and have faith, in the rationale behind the StAAR proposals, Unison asked a series of questions at the outset.

These included:
A demonstration of the predicted ‘process-improvement’ (i.e.: implementation of new software / technologies) to evidence why less roles (people) were needed in the new structure.
We also asked to see evidenced benchmarking of the same, or similar, structures at other universities, to show what worked and, crucially, what didn’t.

Unison does not believe these questions have been answered.

Having engaged constructively in the process, Unison is disappointed that the major bone of contention – the vast number of roles downgraded from 5 to 4 – has not changed. The lack of Grade 5 roles in the new structure is also of particular concern with regards to securing pay protection for current Grade 6 employees. This is why we retain our belief that cost saving is one of the primary drivers of this process – despite the raft of new higher graded roles (+5 at Grade 9 or above) which have been created. (This is another question we asked which we do not believe we have received a satisfactory answer to.)

As Unison’s activities are dictated by our members, we will now be consulting with all affected members to determine our next course of action, but we would say that nothing is off the table. At the beginning of this process we outlined a range of options to our members, and we will be asking our members, again, to consider all of these.

Now we know what we are facing, it is the time for all members to come together to show that, collectively, we can achieve something. In our view this is, very much, the end of the beginning and not the beginning of the end.

If anybody has any counter proposals they want to put forward, or additional criticisms of the management proposals, please forward these to unison-executive@bradford.ac.uk

Thank you all for your support thus far and please stick with us – together we are stronger.