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Branch briefings and guidance

This page provides a range of briefing and guidance documents to help branch officers when faced with local issues or bargaining situations.


Institution finances

Collective grievance

Facilities time

Higher education

  • Redundancy

Further education

  • Funding
  • Redundancy
  • Spheres of influence agreement
  • Bargaining 
  • Recruiting and organising
  • Representing


Institution finances 

A presentation by UCU senior research officer, Stephen Court, on how to do some basic analysis of college and university finances. The presentation gives some advice on tackling this subject, and uses examples from the accounts of St Andrews University, along with sector wide financial information for FE and HE for comparison. This could be of particular use for branches/local associations facing difficulties, to enable you and activists to challenge what employers are saying:

 (.pdf) file type icon Analysing college and university finances (.pdf) [133kb]
 (.ppt) file type icon Analysing college and university finances (.ppt) [920kb]

See also:  (.pdf) file type icon JNCHES insider guide to finance and accounting (.pdf) [1.6Mb]


HEI financial data 2011-12

This report has two tables, providing financial data about UK higher education institutions. Table 1 provides information about the income and expenditure of HEIs, in terms of staff costs, and surplus or deficit, in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. Table 2 provides information about the short-term financial health of HEIs in terms of current assets and short-term liabilities, and information about short- and long-term financial borrowing - this is largely a snap-shot of the HEIs' financial position at 31 July 2011 and 31 July 2012:

 (.pdf) file type icon HEI financial data 2011-12 (.pdf) [515kb]
 (.doc) file type icon HEI financial data 2011-12 (.doc) [948kb]

HEI financial data 2010-11

This report has two tables, providing financial data about UK higher education institutions. Table 1 provides information about the income and expenditure of HEIs, in terms of staff costs, and surplus or deficit, in 2008-9, 2009-10 and 2010-11. Table 2 provides information about the short-term financial health of HEIs in terms of current assets and short-term liabilities, and information about short- and long-term financial borrowing - this is largely a snap-shot of the HEIs' financial position at 31 July 2010 and 31 July 2011:

 (.pdf) file type icon HEI income and expenditure 2010-11 (.pdf) [494kb]
 (.doc) file type icon HEI income and expenditure 2010-11 (.doc) [831kb]

HEI financial data 2009-10
 
Information included as per 2010-11 above:

 (.pdf) file type icon HEI financial data 2009-10 (.pdf) [465kb]
 (.doc) file type icon HEI financial data 2009-10 (.doc) [773kb]

Further financial information: see also the annual financial statements of UK HEIs and some further financial information about UK HEIs.


FE college accounts 2011-12

This report shows some key data from the government's college accounts data - plus some data added by UCU. 6th form colleges are not included.

The report includes data on:

  • operating surplus or deficit on income and expenditure
  • operating surplus/deficit as a % of total income
  • net current assets at 31 July 2012
  • borrowing from the bank or other financial lenders.

 (.pdf) file type icon FE college accounts 2011-12 (.pdf) [345kb]
 (.doc) file type icon FE college accounts 2011-12 (.doc) [437kb]

For further information see the Skills Funding Agency website.

FE college accounts 2010-11

This report shows some key data from the government's College Accounts data for England - plus some data added by UCU. 6th form colleges are not included.

The report includes data on:

  • operating surplus or deficit on income and expenditure;
  • operating surplus/deficit as a % of total income;
  • net current assets at 31 July 2011;
  • borrowing from the bank or other financial lenders.

 (.pdf) file type icon FE college accounts 2010-11 (.pdf) [216kb]
 (.doc) file type icon FE college accounts 2010-11 (.doc) [358kb]

See also note on FE Funding 2012-13:
 (.pdf) file type icon FE Funding 2012-2013 (.pdf) [243kb]
 (.doc) file type icon FE Funding 2012-2013 (.doc) [195kb]

FE college accounts 2009-10

This report shows some key data from the Skills Funding Agency's and YPLA's 2009-10 College Accounts - plus some data added by UCU. 6th form colleges have been excluded, although the 6th form college total is included. The Grand Total at the end includes 6th form college data:

 (.pdf) file type icon FE college accounts 2009-10 (.pdf) [479kb]
 (.doc) file type icon FE college accounts 2009-10 (.doc) [798kb]


Collective grievance

Produced in January 2011, this briefing specifically looks at using the collective grievance process in respect of fighting casualisation:

 (.pdf) file type icon Guidance on collective grievances and fighting casualisation (.pdf) [180kb]
 (.doc) file type icon Guidance on collective grievances and fighting casualisation (.doc) [174kb]


Facilities time

UCU guidance for branches on how to campaign and bargain for better facilities time. With both employers and the coalition government taking a hostile approach to unions and facilities agreements, branches need to be proactive in making sure that they have and campaign for the best facilities possible. The updated pack includes the results of our 2009 survey of branches, establishing sectoral best practice. It also includes a new section providing bargaining advice on key areas. Finally, it includes campaign resources to help you raise the profile of union facilities as an issue for members within your branch:

 (.pdf) file type icon Winning better facilities time and recruiting new staff - NOP branch support pack (revised 2011) (.pdf) [142kb]


Higher education

Professional development policies as an alternative to performance management in HEIs

The following negotiating guidance has been agreed by HEC to be utilised by HE branches/LAs in countering proposals for performance management put forward by HE employers and tabling alternative procedures focused on improving professional development policies. Revised October 2013

Professional development policies negotiating (.pdf)
Professional development policies negotiating (.rtf)

Redundancy

This briefing, originally published in 2008 has been revised in May 2012  to take account of changes to legislation, UCU policies and the changed environment in higher education. The briefing sets out the legal framework of redundancies, offers guidance on negotiating in redundancy situations and on campaigning against threatened redundancies. It also includes a model redundancy avoidance agreement and redeployment policy:

 (.pdf) file type icon Challenging redundancies in higher education - UCU briefing (.pdf) [581kb]
 (.doc) file type icon Challenging redundancies in higher education - UCU briefing (.doc) [312kb]


Further education

Although UCU negotiates on agreed national recommendations on conditions of employment, implementation can vary considerably from college to college. UCU branches negotiate with management on the specific implementation of these agreements in their institution. As well as negotiating on conditions of employment, FE branch officers represent individual members on a range of issues.

Funding

This briefing sets out the key points from the EFA and SFA funding letters for 2014/15. It is suggested to branches that it is good practice to regularly seek a briefing from management on the impact of annual funding changes upon the overall local financial situation.
 (.pdf) file type icon College funding, 2014-15: UCU briefing for FE ((England)) branch officers, Mar 14 (.pdf) [149kb]

The previous briefing on FE funding for 2013-14 is also available:
 (.pdf) file type icon Briefing on FE funding 2013-2014 (.pdf) [605kb]

Redundancy

'Challenging redundancies in further education - a UCU briefing' has been produced to provide guidance for branches when faced with either the threat or the reality of redundancies. Please log in to download the briefing below.

Spheres of influence agreement between UCU and Unison
- the further education sector

 (.pdf) file type icon Spheres of influence agreement, Oct 10 (.pdf) [73kb]
 (.doc) file type icon Spheres of influence agreement, Oct 10 (.doc) [97kb]

Lesson observation

Please see our dedicated lesson observation page.

Bargaining

  •  (.pdf) file type icon Sick of it? A practical guide to negotiating all aspects of sickness absence policies in further education, Aug 14 (.pdf) [187kb]
  • Briefing and guidance on bargaining for HE in FE

     (.pdf) file type icon Scholarly activity in HE in FE – towards a better practice model, Sep 13 (.pdf) [244kb]

    This briefing and guidance is the result of over 18 months work including surveys and interviews with colleges and branch officers dealing with HE in FE and pulls together feedback and experiences shared at four regional briefings held in early 2013.

    From August 2013 all further education colleges in receipt of direct Higher Education Funding Council England (HEFCE) funding must subscribe to the Quality Assurance Agency and follow its guidance on scholarship and pedagogical effectiveness of staff. This creates an opportunity for branches to raise the issue of scholarly activity and contact hours with managers and seek agreements that will ensure FE colleges can demonstrate they meet QAA's guidance. QAA subscription is a condition of HEFCE grants from the 2013/14 academic year.

    It became clear in all the work done on HE in FE that scholarly activity was the issue most commonly raised and the subject of concern to members delivering HE courses in FE. Scholarly activity and associated reductions in contact time to facilitate scholarly activity are also areas that some branches have already achieved improvements through negotiations and some members have secured informal agreements. The requirement for FE colleges to subscribe to QAA provides a strong reason for colleges to listen to UCU branch demands to reach agreement on scholarly activity.

    This document seeks to start a process of sharing better practice in relation to all aspects of conditions for staff delivering HE in FE. The document will be updated by case studies of successful negotiations as branches seek to formalise agreements around HE in FE arrangements and in particular scholarly activity which are currently more often informal and lacking in transparency.

    If your branch secures improvements or formal agreements on scholarly activity, HE in FE contact hours or other associated issues please contact Andrew Harden with details so that we can share better practice. 

Recruiting and organising

Representing


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