Category Archives: STAGgering

STAGgering is the blog of the Surrey branch of the UCU. It aims to provide a critical but fair perspective on the University and its activities.

At York they do things differently

University of York academics have written an open letter to their VC about their University’s position on the Pensions dispute and got this response: http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/response-to-open-letter/

central20hall20and20lakeThe tone of the response letter, civilised, caring and encouraging negotiation, is strikingly (pardon the pun) different from that of the email Surrey staff have received from their Vice-President, Human Resources.

Spinning the staff survey

Here is something a new member wrote and said he didm’t mind if we published it.

After our head of department’s admirable efforts to get us to complete the Staff Survey, I was disappointed to say the least at Paul Stephenson’s misleading spin on the results in the Surrey Life newsletter (Summer 2014 issue).

Where there was a high positive percentage score, he quoted the percentage; where there was a low positive percentage score, he only told us about the shift in percentage from the previous year.

So, the following have been airbrushed out of the account:

4. In my team, we have the resources we need to complete our work effectively; only 49% agree; 30% disagree

10. I have an awareness of the University’s new ‘Create Wonder’ brand: 42% do not.

11. I am aware of the 5 new University values introduced in January 2014: 50% are not

12. The University does a good job of keeping me informed about matters affecting me: only 53% think so

14. There is good communication between people in different parts of the organisation: only 31% think so; 40% disagree

35. I feel I could approach a member of the Executive Board if I wanted to raise something with them: only 32% agree; 41% think not

36. I trust the University’s Executive Board to lead the organisation effectively: only 44% agree

39. If so did the changes improve working arrangements/ make no difference/ make matters worse?: only 39% think changes made things better; 40% think changes made things worse

46. I believe progression is fair at the University: only 39% agree

Given the way that the figures have been interpreted, it is perhaps no wonder that only 69% of staff engaged in the survey, and that:

53. Where I work effective action has been taken on the results of the last staff survey: only 26% agree.

I don’t suppose anything can be done about this, but I wonder what the point of a survey is unless the results are acknowledged fairly, and acted upon.