1980 12 December AUT Newsletter .pdf
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BELFAST ASSOCIATIGN OF UNIVERSITY TEACHERS
The most recent information from Headquarters is a letter dated 21 November, from
It states that a meeting of Cornittee B took place on
the General Secretary.
by a meeting of Committee A ‘next weekt (w.b.
23 November) and of Committee S on an unspecified date. No other detailsof the
negotiations are being released at present.
Detal Is of the Motions for debateat Council have been received. Subjects
covered include Student Loans, the fate of the Coordinating Committee for the
Training of University Teachers and increases in tuition fees for overseas students.
Any member who would like detai Is of the Motions to Council should contact the
Hon. Secretary or any Committee member. I
Rules and Accounts
Any member who wishes to have a copy of the National Rules, Local Rules or audited
Accounts should contact the Membership Secretary, Paul Hudson (Applied Maths,
Mlcheelmas term Meeting between QUB Senior Officers and AUT representatives
A Meeting of the Vice—Chancellor, Pro-Vice—Chancellors, Senior Officers and AUT
representatives was held on 25 November 980.
(i.) Computer Centre Working Party Report: It was agreed that the AUT would
receive a copy of the Interim report of the UniversIty’s Computer Centre Working
Party (and would be given the opportunity to discuss thI early next tern, after
the Computer Committee have considered It.
(ii) Procedural agroement: Local Committee’s policy on this was circulated
earlier in the year. and was endorsed by a Generai Meeting last May. Discussion
with University Officers on the possibi lity of a completely new agreement showed
It was going to be difficult to produce one acceptable to both the AUT and the
University but that some elaboration of the existing very general agreement
between AUT and the University could be more easily achieved and would meet many
of the points AUT thought important. Draft proposals were agreed at the meeting
in addition tp
and wilt be forwarded to Senate through Standing Committee.
covering details such as the timing of joint meetings between University Officers
and Belfast AUT, the proposals distinguish between matters appropriate for
negotiation and for consultation and clarify how joint aDreements will be channelled
to the appropriate University bodies. Members can obtain a copy of the proposals
from the Hon. Secretary, and their views will be welcomed.
(iii) Salary Anomalies: Following the rectification of many anomalies in
lecturers’ salaries last year, the Personnel Office provided us with updated
figures on the age/salary distribution at Quee&s, and these were discussed at
the meeting. AUT pointed out that while very few people are now 2 or more points
below the straTght line through the 26 years/ird point origin and of slope I
point per year, about 40% of lecturers are I point below? and AUT urged Deans
to consider such cases thIs year. While sympathetic to arguments in favour of
the ‘age—pointed’ line being, in general, a minimum expectation, the University
Officers pointed out that a number of factors other than age were involved in
determining a lecturer’s position on the scale, for example market forces in
different subject areas. They were not prepared to depart from the biennial
anomaly review, but undertook that next year Deans would consider the remaining
anomalies on the sane basis as last year’s review.
(lv) Disciplinary Procedure: The question of extending the provision of and
procedures for, the discipl ining of Professors and Lccturers had been raised by
the University at a previous meeting. The Personnel Officer has since carried
out a survey of practice at a number of other universities.
In the light of the
returns he received, it was agreed that the ‘good cause provision in the Statutes
is sutficient, and the matter will not be pursued.
Cv) Probation Procedure:
It was agreed that the AUT would seek its membership’s
views on procedures for Appeals against the University’s decision to terminate the
umploymcr,t of any munber of staff cn Probation, including whether restrictions
would/would not be acceptable regarding the selection of those accompanying the
probationer in front of the Senate Appeal Comittee.
(This will be discussed
by the AUT Ccmittee and further information will be sent to members shortly.)
(vi) Travel Funds: The AUT welcomed the 960/UI increases in the various
subsistence rates and annual travel fund limits as operated by the Research and
Schoiarshlps Cornlttee, but urged that they be further increased from I October
98i following a review in the autumn.
Cvii) B.Ed. Moderators:
It was agreed that the Committse of Deans would examine
Senate Minute 174 (Academic Council Minutes 9 June 978, pp 249—51), with a view
to raising the maximum fee limit for dissertations reviewed by B.Ed. Moderators.
(viii) Study Leava for Acadernic—Reiated Staff;
It was agreed that the Cornittee
of Deans and other appropriate Bodies would cons ider the possibility of Study
Leave for at I academIc—related staff, along the lines recently established-for
(ix) Promotions: The vice—Chancellor outlined the Procedures followed for the
promotion of academTc staff to Senior Lectureships and Readerships. 64 candidates
had been put forward this year for consideration. The senior/junior ratio in
Queen’s is at present such that if, for example, IS lecturers were promoted this
year, It would be (theoretlcaily) 40.3% on I October 1981. The Vice—Chancellor
also pointed out that Queen’s was always near the top of the senior/junior ratio
‘ieogue table” because it made a practice of awarding promotions sufficient to
raise the ratio a little above 4O, relying upon natural wastage to reduce it
during the year.
Research and external Referees’ reports are the primary factors In promotion to
Readership and the number of promotions awarded is typically 3 or 4 out of 5 or
6 candidates considered (excluding Medicine and Agriculture which are not
included in the ratio).
Research is also a major factor in the competition for promotion to Senior
Lectureship (especially in cases where other criteria are fulfilled to an equal
degree), but it is not the only factor taken into account.
It was also reported that the DES is considering means whereby extra flexibility
could be introduced, with the 40% quota operating nationally, but with local
It was stated that Queen’s would be prepared to consider further
promotions during the year if these procedures come into effect.
Cx) Tenure: Following a recent article in the THES (October 3rd, 1980), the
AUT asked what was behind the CVCPs decision to produce a report on tenure.
The Vice—Chancel or reiterated that there was no question of looking at the tenure
of staff at Queens at present, and that the wel I—established scrutiny procedure
was largely responsible for this. However, not all universities had accepted
the need for such procedures In the past, and as a result many are now in a
difficult position. Since there arc many different typos of contract in existence,
and since the USC has made it clear to the CVCP in a letter concernin9 rational—
Isation that the preservation of jobs is not the highest priority of the USC,
the CVCP felt that the position should be clarified. However, the Vice—Chancellor
emphasized that all Vice—Chancel lors consider redundancks only to be a very
final resort, to be avoided if at all possible.
** ** * * * * * * *
Ruth St.C. Gilmore
29241, ext. 2181/2646