What I said to Human Resources

Inspired by Steve Wharton’s response to a threatening letter from our employer, my own response follows. For background, the University and College Union is undertaking action short of a strike (ASOS) in defence of the USS pension scheme in the pre-92 universities in the UK. Some employers, including the University of Bath, have chosen to deduct 25% of pay from those taking part in the action, as well as threatening to attach individuals to any claims for damages brought by students who might sue the university.

  1. The 25% deduction is a figure which bears no relation to the amount of time actually spent on assessment, as can be confirmed from departmental workload models. The number is misleading to the point of dishonesty and is clearly part of an attempt to intimidate and threaten staff taking lawful industrial action.
  2. The threat to attach individuals to any action taken against the university is Taff Vale by the back door, and a return to the management practices of the nineteenth century. I expect little better from the senior management team, but it should know better than to be so obvious.
  3. The communication with staff has been signed by the `Executive commitee’, a non-existent body. Formal authority lies with the Vice-Chancellor, acting on advice from other senior staff. Communications should be signed by the holder of a university office, and not in the name of a body with no standing.

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