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If they say something often enough, will people believe it?

February 8, 2010

At three minutes past one today, when the University knew a major UCU meeting was taking place, all members of staff received an email stating the reason for the break down of ACAS talks last week:

“The sticking point was a demand from UCU that the University management rule out any possibility of compulsory redundancy of any academic within the Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS).”

The UCU reps in ACAS never made this demand, but perhaps the University management hopes that if they say it often enough, people will believe it. Members, other staff and students deserve better. UCU are prepared to continue talking. Are the University?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 8, 2010 6:52 PM

    It would make much more sense to counter this by releasing the true list of demands.

    What was really asked for?

  2. February 8, 2010 7:05 PM

    Thank you frustrated member of staff. Read Friday’s blog for your answer. More detail will be made available.

  3. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 8, 2010 9:35 PM

    Why not publish the 14 points?

  4. February 8, 2010 9:49 PM

    Why not indeed? They were posted to members fifteen minutes ago, and so now will become part of the next blog. The UCU have nothing to hide.

  5. lecturer permalink
    February 8, 2010 10:37 PM

    Thank you for sending out the 14 points. was glad to see such transparency, particularly after that email screw-up from CP. any chance of a quick account of todays meeting? teaching got in the way today.

  6. February 8, 2010 10:48 PM

    We’re nothing if not transparent, email screw-ups and all. We gave a commitment to the University to adjust anything on the blog that was factually untrue. It’s a shame they haven’t made the same commitment, given some of the recent announcements. Today’s meeting was concerned with the University’s break-down of the ACAS talks, and the fourteen points. There was then some discussion of the kinds of action we might take, revolving mostly around strikes, but as it was an informal meeting so no one at which decisions might be made. Certainly, we made it clear that we were willing to continue on talks with the University to avoid industrial action. It seems as though they have opted to push us into industrial action, but we want to convince them now to be reasonable and get back to the negotiating table to discuss the 14 points.

  7. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 9, 2010 2:47 AM

    It’s interesting that some around here think a reasonable request – which was quickly responded to (thank you!) – is a reason to rate a post as negative!

  8. Alison Fotheringham permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:36 AM

    Well maybe it’s because you are clearly cynical and therefore not supportive of the only group of people making some sense around here. The University talks about being honest and transparent, but clearly are neither. At least UCU are both.

    Students support UCU!

  9. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 9, 2010 3:33 PM


    You can’t ask your own Union for details of the negotiation without being “cynical”?

    I’m asking the same questions of my management. That’s the point of being honest and transparent. And UCU instantly responded. That’s great.

    I have every *right* to ask, and I resent the implication that I should somehow leave it to the grown-ups and not ask questions.

    This is *my* job, *my* University and *my* Union.

    And if I am not allowed to ask questions, what’s the point?

    This is a *democratic* union.

    Isn’t it?

  10. February 9, 2010 3:48 PM

    Your union has not accused you of cynicism. We’re happy to publish and answer your questions. We are indeed a democratic union. Tomorrow we invite you and all members to come and decide what industrial action you will take.

    How successful have you been with asking management to be honest and transparent?

  11. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 9, 2010 3:56 PM

    No – the Union hasn’t accused me of cynicism, nor did I accuse it of doing so.

    The poster (a student, I assume) has misguidedly assumed that asking a reasonable question makes me “…clearly cynical and therefore not supportive…”. I am merely responding to their post (why doesn’t it have a reply tag of its own?)

    As for management, I don’t know. They have been fairly open with responses to questions…but who knows how honest they are? That’s a much harder question to answer…

  12. February 9, 2010 4:03 PM

    The blog software generates ‘reply’ buttons to the first in a cascade, it seems. There is no option to add or suppress reply buttons.

    We have a policy of posting all comments, but filter them for moderation to disallow any that contain inappropriate language or unfounded accusations (against anyone). If you feel Alison’s comes into those categories, we may remove it.

    thanks again

  13. A Frustrated Member of Staff permalink
    February 9, 2010 4:05 PM

    Absolutely not – this isn’t a place for censorship. 🙂

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