University of Bath responds to pensions and pay

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With the ongoing UCU assessment boycott over pensions, the University of Bath has responded to the some key areas of dispute between the University and the union.

On the UCU action over pensions: 

“UCU nationally warned members on their ballot papers that taking industrial action might constitute a breach of their contract of employment. The University will not accept the partial performance of the contract of any member of staff. This means that members of UCU who decide to take part in the assessment and marking boycott are not entitled to their contractual pay from the date when they started to participate in the action.”

“We regard the industrial action called by UCU as going to the heart of the contract of employment for academic and teaching staff involved in student learning and teaching. Feedback on their teaching is crucial to a student’s learning experience and fundamental to the role of the institution and its academic and teaching staff. Therefore this action has potential to have a serious adverse effect on our students and in turn the reputation of our institution, and would increase over time, particularly if it continues for several weeks.  Where a breach does occur the University reserves the right to withhold 100% of pay.  However it has been decided that, in the first instance, we will withhold 25% of pay.

“However, last week UCU tabled their proposals for USS benefit reform which are now being analysed by Universities UK. Further meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks and we hope that a way forward can be agreed which prevents further potential damage to the provision of student learning and teaching here at Bath.”

On the Vice-Chancellor’s salary: 

“The salary and conditions of service of our Vice-Chancellor are independently determined by a Remuneration Committee. Remuneration packages for Vice-Chancellors reflect what is required to recruit and retain individuals able to run complex, multi-million pound organisations operating in a highly competitive, global market.”

“The remuneration committee takes on board a wide range of factors in coming to its decisions including the committee’s annual assessment of performance against targets relating to the University’s fulfilment of its strategic objectives, financial sustainability and overall reputation.”

On the pay discrepancies: 

“Following consultation and agreement with the trade unions, the University introduced a pay supplement for all permanent and fixed term staff which equated their pay as a minimum to the Living Wage at the time £7.65 per hour from 1 April 2014. It was agreed that this would be reviewed on 1 April 2015.”

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Benjamin is the former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of bathimpact and covers stories on University of Bath, University of Bath Students’ Union, Bath politics and student issues

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