Surrey UCU Committee Motion: A motion to enter into a formal dispute with the University of Surrey over setting MEQ scores as compulsory targets in appraisals and probation processes.

Surrey UCU:

1. Notes that

a. Module Evaluation Questionnaire (MEQ) scores have only ever been used in University of Surrey academic appraisals as an example of a target. Appraisees are not compelled to sign up to targets which involve MEQs as individual performance metrics.

b. Changes to appraisal targets are subject to negotiation and agreement between HR and UCU under the Terms of Reference of the Joint Negotiating and Consultative Committee (JNCC).

c. The recent instruction sent to line managers (27/07/2021) indicated the inclusion of MEQ scores as compulsory targets in both appraisals and probations. This had not been negotiated with this UCU Branch and is therefore in breach of the JNCC agreement.

d. UCU committee proposed a reasonable remedy was for further communication to be sent to line managers to explicitly clarify that MEQ metrics should not be used as compulsory targets, rather that they remain as one of several optional examples of evidence of teaching performance, and a basis for discussion.

e. The appraisal form itself was altered several times mid cycle with changes to section 3.2, again without consultation.

f. The subsequent communication sent to all staff from the PVC Education (19/08/21) failed to clarify points made in (d) nor prevent any potential misapprehension, despite numerous attempts from UCU to ameliorate and correct this.

2. Believes that

a. MEQ scores are an unsuitable metric for use as a compulsory performance indicator

b. Any use of MEQ scores in appraisals or probations must remain optional.

c. Any alteration of appraisal/probation targets, procedures or documentation must be subject to negotiation and agreement with UCU.

3. Resolves that

a. We will raise a formal Dispute with the University over communications to staff that obfuscate the principle that MEQ scores are optional appraisal and probation targets.

b. We will maintain the position that appraisers/line managers should not use MEQ scores as compulsory targets for any appraisee.

c. We reaffirm the principle that any proposed alteration of working conditions including those subsumed within appraisal procedures must continue to be subject to negotiation and agreement with UCU.