In February 2011, a Joint Union Committee (JUC) was formed in response to the 200+ letters of risk of redundancy that had been received by staff across the University, and to the restructuring processes taking place in Residential & Business Services, IT Services/Business Improvements and SALTIRE/Staff Development/GRADskills.
The JUC includes representatives from UNITE, UNISON and UCU, as well as Sabbatical Officers from the Students’ Association. We have been campaigning heavily and working hard to protect jobs during difficult joint negotiations with University senior management.
We are writing to all members to update you about the current situation:
Residential & Business Services:
- After lengthy negotiations, we have been given assurances that term-time only contracts will not be forced on staff who continue in their current roles
- No group or member of staff will be subject to dismissal and re-engagement on term-time only contracts
- Housekeeping staff are not subject to threat of redundancy and therefore staff should not expect to receive any letters to that effect as part of the current process
However, there is a strong likelihood that a number of redundancies will take place, and we continue to be concerned about a number of serious issues relating to terms and conditions of work, including
- pay protection and the opportunity to develop a role for people assigned or redeployed to roles at a lower grade than their current position
- the right to take annual leave at any reasonable point in the year, without undue or unreasonable restrictions – there has been an indication that some staff will be forced to take holidays at specific points throughout the year, which has serious implications given the high cost of childcare in St Andrews.
JUC negotiators will make these issues a priority in future consultation meetings and in broader campaigning.
SALTIRE, Staff Development, and GRADskills merger – CAPOD
A restructuring with a clear threat of staff downgrading is currently taking place in SALTIRE, Staff Development, and GRADskills. Some members of the new unit have received letters from HR asking for their agreement to changes in terms and conditions. The JUC will continue to monitor individual and collective issues.
IT Services/Business Improvements
One to one meetings with staff are on-going. Whilst it seems to be the case that there will be few, if any, compulsory redundancies, there are still risks of downgrading, and protection for people being moved to a lower grade remains a negotiating priority. The JUC will continue to monitor individual and collective issues.
In conclusion, the JUC calls upon University management to do the utmost to avoid compulsory redundancies and, further, to protect the conditions and job security of all its staff, both during the current restructuring exercises and in the future. We welcome the recent statement from Mike Russell, Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, that the Government’s policy of no compulsory redundancies should be operated as widely as possible across the higher education sector.
How you can help:
Please sign the JUC’s petition asking University management to protect jobs and conditions for all staff during the restructuring processes. You can do this online at
or via the JUC website. You can also download a paper version of the petition from the JUC website, which you can sign and ask colleagues to sign.
Keep looking at the JUC website http://standrewsunions.org/juc/ to find out what is happening during our campaign to protect jobs at the University.
If you would like to get involved in campaigning and negotiating, please contact
UCU, UNITE, UNISON
St Andrews University Joint Union Committee