Issue No 8 June 2001
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Annual General Meeting - 27th June at 1.05 p.m. - Room 212 Peter Froggatt

(Note change of venue.)

Agenda

  1. Minutes and matters arising.
  2. Amendments to Local Rules. (These set a quorum for the meetings of local specialist groups; reduce the quorum for Committee meetings; and make changes matching national rules. The exact wording can be obtained in advance from Paul Hudson.)
  3. Election of Officers and General Members.
  4. Reports from the Outgoing Officers.
  5. Setting of the Local Subscription and the Appointment of Auditors.
  6. Address by the National President, Allan Carr: "A New Era for AUT"
  7. Any other business.

Committee Elections

As they were the only candidates nominated the following will be automatically elected at the AGM:

President

Dr Paul Hudson

Statistics & OR

Honorary Secretary

Ms Susan Harte

International Liaison Office

Secretary for Local Issues

Dr Renee Prendergast

Economics

Honorary Treasurer

Dr J Max Goldstrom

AUT Office, Admin

Membership Secretary

Lynne Press

Italian

Assistant Secretary

Mr George Dunn

Computing Services

Dr Renee Prendergast becomes ex-officio Vice-President.

As there are four nominations for the four General Member places, the following are automatically elected at the AGM:

Mr Richard Jay

Lifelong Learning

Dr W Duncan Mercer

Biology & Biochemistry

Dr Karen McElrath

Sociology & Social Policy

Dr Julian Warner

Management & Economics

 

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Belfast AUT Office.

We all offer our condolences to our secretarial assistant, Patricia McKnight, on the sudden loss of her husband. As a consequence the Belfast AUT office may not be staffed for a while, and all enquiries should be addressed to Paul Hudson (extn 3157), Renee Prendergast (extn 3292) or Susan Harte (extn 4668). Incidentally, the office is not now moving to Lanyon South; after much delay in the moving, the prospect of a fourth Pro-Vice-Chancellor has led to a re-allocation of accommodation there, and we lost out. For the foreseeable future, we remain in an office off of what used to be the Secretarial Centre on level 1 of the Administration Building.

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Nurse Education at Altnagelvin

There is to be a big shake-up in pre-registration nursing training in Northern Ireland which will lead to the closing of QUB Altnagelvin campus. Pre-registration training is provided by QUB in courses leading to registration in one of the branches in nursing and to a diploma from QUB. Some of these students then spend a further year to gain a degree. QUB School of Nursing also teaches Midwifery and various advanced courses and higher degrees. At present pre-registration teaching is not funded in the same way as the rest of the University but through a contract from the Ministry of Health which has to be bid for in open competition every few years. In GB such bidding has driven down the unit of resource and sometimes the contract has shifted to another institution with the consequent upheaval for the staff. Bairbre de Brun announced on Wednesday that the bidding process will be replaced by commissioning on a partnership basis subject to meeting service level standards. This should mean that continued work is assured and long-term planning can take place.

At present QUB takes in 440 pre-registration students per year including (as specified in the contract) 145 at Altnagelvin. This next academic year the intake will be increased by 100 as part of the drive to recruit more nurses. Numbers will increase further under the new funding arrangements which start in 2002/3. QUB will provide 450 places at Belfast and UU will provide 190 places at Magee. Students in mid course at Altnagelvin will transfer to UU, but will have a choice as to which university awards their degree. The QUB staff at Altnagelvin will have the choice of working at Belfast or transferring to UU. Their salary and conditions of service in such a transfer would be protected by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. We await details of how individual members will be affected, but, because of the expansion of nurse education, we do not expect serious problems.

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Promotions and Appraisal

All academic staff have received the timetable for the new promotions scheme together with a web address which provides other material including the promotions profiles and application forms. It is important to note that the promotions profiles are not checklists of criteria that you have to meet in order to achieve the designated level. They are meant to be indicators of some of the sorts of things that a person seeking promotion to a given level might be expected to achieve. Different candidates will meet the profile in different ways including some that are not listed in the profiles.

The new procedure is a rather long drawn out affair. The last date for submission of applications is 14 September and final results should be published in early June. In fact, most people will know their fate by April 19 when the chair of the relevant committee provides written feedback to those applicants not being recommended for promotion. Such applicants may then appeal to the Central Promotions Review Committee. Since promotions are backdated to 1 October 2001, those being promoted can look forward to a nice lump sum payment and take pleasure from the fact that they have provided the University with a interest free loan of the same amount for approximately nine months.

Misinformation is circulating about the links between the new appraisal scheme and the new promotions procedures. Appraisal is not directly linked with promotion. However, your appraiser should be in a position to advise you on what you need to do in order to meet the profile for a particular level. You should set objectives with this in mind and make sure that you are being given an opportunity to develop an appropriate portfolio of activity. You may also use the outcome of you appraisal as evidence to support your bid to be promoted. This should be your decision not anyone else’s.

In an earlier newsletter, we reported on our unsuccessful bid to secure self-application for discretionary awards. Sensible heads of school will probably seek information from all their staff prior to making decisions about who to put forward for discretionary payments. If this is not being done, we advise members that they should make sure that their head of school is aware of achievements which would qualify them to receive discretionary payments. You can do this in writing or seek an appointment. Please note that unlike promotions, there is no service qualification for discretionary payments.

Members have raised issues with us already regarding the working of the new scheme. We have been able to clarify some points at this stage, but others can only be addressed when the scheme is reviewed at the end of the first round. It is very important that we continue to receive feedback on all aspects of the working of the scheme. If appraisers or Heads are treating the profiles as checklists of criteria, please report to us immediately.

© 2001 Belfast Association of University Teachers
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