Cardiff Met criticised by UCU over ‘bizarre’ contract terms

Cardiff Metropolitan University has been criticised for imposing “bizarre” new contract terms on its professors.

April 21, 2014

Source: www.cardiffmet.ac.uk

Under a new revised contract imposed after a professorial review, Cardiff Met will be able to exclude professors from university for no apparent reason but will still need to pay them, a union has claimed.

According to the University and College Union, a clause in the contract – one of several amendments – states that the university “may from time to time… suspend you or exclude you from all or any premises of the university or require you to abstain from contacting or dealing with any contacts including staff and students, but your salary will not cease to be payable”.

The clause has been condemned as “bizarre” by the UCU, which says it was barred from taking part in the professorial review which helped to create the new contracts.

It says staff were told in February that they had to sign the new contracts within two weeks and did not have chance to consult the university over the new terms and conditions, which have just come to light.

Margaret Phelan, UCU Wales official, said the professorial review had been conducted in an “opaque and unsatisfactory fashion”.

“UCU was perfectly willing to input into the process but was not involved in any meaningful way once the review was under way,” Ms Phelan said.

She said the contracts are littered with “bizarre and confusing terms”, including the clause that allows Cardiff Met to exclude staff from campus but still pay them.

“While to some that might sound like a good deal, in reality it equates to a great amount of uncertainty for staff around what is expected of them and how secure their jobs are,” Ms Phelan said.

She called on the university to review their proposals and engage with UCU to ensure that any new contract is sensible and fair to staff.

A Cardiff Metropolitan University spokesman said the UCU were made aware of these proposals “as a courtesy” because the senior academics affected are “not subject to collective bargaining arrangements negotiated with UCU among others”.

“The vast majority of affected staff have already agreed to these contractual terms which are consistent with terms applicable to senior roles,” he added.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

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