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Welcome to Colette, Surrey UCU Branch Administrator

We are delighted to welcome Colette Maxfield as Surrey UCU Branch Administrator.  She can be contacted at <[email protected]> or in person in the union office, 38AZ04.  Her office hours are Friday from 10:00 to 17:00.

Colette will act as an initial point of contact for enquiries and requests for help from members, arrange Branch meetings, maintain a list of UCU members, and help with the Surrey UCU website.



Revised appraisal documents

UCU representatives recently met with members of the senior management team to discuss their plans for the new round of appraisals for academic and teaching staff. An email has been sent to Surrey UCU members with copies of the proposed appraisal documentation, and a link to SurveyMonkey that allows you to record feedback on these proposals anonymously.

The survey will close on the 25th of April .

In summary, the research targets have changed in the proposals as follows:

“For Professors and Readers – Achieve a minimum of six outputs over a four year period of which at least two are world leading quality and the others are at least internationally excellent quality.

For Senior Lecturers and Lecturers – Achieve a minimum of four outputs over a four year period of which at least one is world leading quality and the others are at least internationally excellent quality.”

Other changes:

The MEQ target remains at 4.1, rather than increasing to 4.15 as originally planned. MEQ scores appear as a pre-set target rather than an example.

The forms for academic staff are now completely separate from the forms for teaching fellows.

There are quite a few further changes so i would encourage everyone to read the attachments in order that we can get a comprehensive response of all aspects.

Email Alison Cottell if you haven’t received the documents and the SurveyMonkey link.

Overview of USS Pension Changes

From 1 April 2016 all members of USS will have at least two versions of their pension scheme and some earning above £55,000 will have three versions of their pension plan.

Current Final Salary Members

fall into two categories:

  1. Those earning below £55,000 will have a defined benefit final salary pension entitlement based on the period up to 1st April and a defined benefit career revalued benefit pension entitlement accruing from 1st April 2016.
  2. Those earning above £55,000 will have both of the above benefits plus an individual defined contribution account on the balance above £55,000. The risk of this element of pension have been shifted from USS to the fund member who will select a fund or funds into which their contributions will be invested.

    Neither will benefit from this change and members’ contributions will increase from 7.5% to 8%. (It doesn’t matter that employers contributions increase because the benefit is already defined- hence the term ‘Defined Benefit’)

Current Members of the Career Revalued Benefit Scheme

(Members joining the scheme after 1 Oct 2011)

  • These members will now have two CRB schemes – the pre-April and the post-April Scheme. Career Revalued Benefits (CRB) for all members on salary up to £55,000 accrued at a different accrual rate to that provided currently (the new accrual rate will be 1/75th of salary per year as pension, along with 3/75ths of salary as a lump sum). The Threshold of £55,000 will operate as described above.

The new CRB scheme may have been regarded as a modest improvement on the old scheme if it were not for the substantial hike in members’ contributions which will increase from 6.5% to 8% of pensionable salary.

Further details are available in a document prepared by Surrey UCU’s Pensions Representative here:

An Overview of USS Scheme Change

Links to USS site:

There is also a benefit illustrator on the site so that you can get a picture of what your new and more complex pension looks like.

Ballot result

Trade dispute between UCU and the University of Surrey concerning the failure to rule out the use of compulsory redundancies for members of staff within the UCU bargaining group as a result of the current operational review.

The ballot closed at noon on Thursday 30 April 2015. The response to the question you were balloted on is as follows:

Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action? 

Number of ballot papers returned: 117

Number voting YES: 72 (62.6%)

Number voting NO: 43 (37.4%)

Number of papers found to be invalid: 2

Are you prepared to take industrial action consisting of action short of strike action? 

Number of ballot papers returned: 117

Number voting YES: 82 (71.9%)

Number voting NO: 32 (28.1%)

Number of papers found to be invalid: 3

Turnout: 40.1%

You can view the scrutineers’ report here:

Support from the University of Chichester UCU

The University of Chichester UCU branch notes:

1.   that the University of Surrey has announced plans to dismiss 100 members of staff on grounds of redundancy; and

2.   that the University of Surrey UCU branch is working to resist job cuts and is balloting for industrial action.

The branch:

1.   supports our colleagues at the University of Surrey; and

2.   instructs its committee to send a message of support to University of Surrey UCU as soon as possible.

We hereby send you greetings of support and solidarity, and trust that you will pass these on to colleagues.

Support from UCU South East Region

SE Regional Committee UCU notes the widespread dismay and anger across the sector at the short-sighted and bullying initiative lately undertaken by the University of Surrey senior management. The ‘Operational Review’ being carried out by Surrey senior management not only threatens 100 jobs, it expands and intensifies the type of micro-management which is anathema to both job-satisfaction or to academic excellence. The loss of those posts (75 of them expected to be academic) will not only weaken the fabric of support for students and their disciplines, it will also result in a real increase of teaching and teaching-related work for staff who remain at the University.


In place of fear and fury, Sir Christopher Snowden, the obscenely overpaid VC of Surrey, needs to work in partnership with academic, administrative and student-support staff. The processes of trust and reciprocity which should stand at the heart of relationships between staff and students, and between staff and the University, stand in grave danger of being eroded at the University of Surrey. UCU members in the South-East Region offer our full solidarity to our colleagues in the University of Surrey as they resist the threats to the credibility and integrity of the University of Surrey as a HE institution. We will support you in your campaign to protect Higher Education at the University of Surrey in any way we can.

Mick Dawson – SE Regional Committee Secretary

Patricia McManus – Higher Education Committee (HEC) of NEC

University of Surrey has the highest number of non-academics on salaries of over £100,000 a year but scores of redundancies amongst academics are being made to save staff costs

According to the Times Higher,

 The ratio of highly paid administrators/managers at Surrey is 6 or 7 times as high as at Imperial!   Imperial College London said that 28 of its non-academic staff earned at least £100,000 a year, compared with 291 academics, but it declined to list any of their salary bands. At the University of Leeds, 16 professional staff earned more than £100,000.

The University of Surrey had the highest number of non-academic staff on £100,000 or more a year (17), including the chief financial officer (£160,000 to £170,000) and the vice-president of marketing and communications (£120,000 to £130,000). Only 26 academics earned more than £100,000, Surrey said.

UCU Legal services

Many will be extremely anxious about the proposal to cut up to 100 posts at the University. This is an unprecedented attack on the Surrey workforce and will be resisted by your union collectively.

Understandably, you may believe there is a legal remedy to your post being put at risk. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely there is such a remedy. UK law is clear that if the following criteria are met redundancies are lawful.

(a)     the fact that his employer has ceased or intends to cease

(i)     to carry on the business for the purposes of which the employee was employed by him, or
(ii)     to carry on that business in the place where the employee was so employed, or

(b)     the fact that the requirements of that business

(i)     for employees to carry out work of a particular kind, or
(ii)     for employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was employed by the employer, have ceased or diminished or are expected to cease or diminish.”

The focus is not on whether there is less work, but whether the employer can demonstrate a need for fewer employees to carry out the work.

You will no doubt have more legal questions. For this reason UCU in association with Thompsons Solicitors will be holding a presentation and  Q & A on Wednesday 15th April at noon in Teaching Block 18. This will be followed by a limited number of very brief one to one sessions. If you wish to have a one to one please contact Euclid Pires at [email protected] who will assign you a time slot.

University heads received an average of £260,000 per year

University heads received an average of £260,000 per year and 18 received pay rises over 10%, according to a salary survey from the UCU lecturers’ union.

The biggest earner in 2013-14 was the head of Nottingham Trent University whose total benefits were £623,000.

Last week, university leaders warned against cutting tuition fees to £6,000, arguing that budgets were under threat.

The UCU leader Sally Hunt said the lack of “accountability surrounding senior pay and perks is a national scandal”.

Business Secretary Vince Cable warned that universities should “think twice” about large pay rises for senior staff and that such pay levels were “hard to swallow”.

The survey from the lecturers’ union shows that the top 10 earners among vice-chancellors received between £392,000 and £623,000, based on total benefits.

It also revealed how some university heads have had substantial increases, at a time when lecturers have been campaigning over pay.

Top 10 vice-chancellors’ pay, 2013-14

1. Nottingham Trent University, Neil Gorman: £623,000 (including accrued bonuses)

2. London Metropolitan University, Malcolm Gillies: £453,000 (including payment in lieu of notice)

3. University of Oxford, Andrew Hamilton: £442,000

4. London Business School, Sir Andrew Likierman: £419,000

5. The Open University, Martin Bean: £412,000

6 University of Birmingham, Sir David Eastwood: £410,000

7. University of Exeter, Sir Steve Smith: £400,000 (including £58,000 performance-related remuneration)

8 University of Bath, Glynis Breakwell: £395,000

9. London School of Economics, Craig Calhoun: £394,000

10. University of Surrey, Sir Christopher Snowden: £392,000

Source: University and College Union


More at

Results of indicative ballot

The UCU Surrey response to the Standard Allocation Framework for Teaching and Academic Staff (STAF) currently being proposed by the University is pretty clear cut . “Go back to the drawing board – this framework will not work!” . Staff are particularly mindful of the impact such a framework will have on our ability to maintain our current high level of teaching standards and student satisfaction.

Here are the results of an indicative ballot on our response to the staff and a series of propositions about what an effective framework might include.

Standard Teaching Allocation Framework – UCU Surrey Ballot