Voluntary Severance Legal Advice

LSBU provides £400 contribution to getting independent legal advice on your VS offer. UCU will provide the following support for members if you do the following:

i)    Get an electronic copy attachment of the VS documentation 

ii)   Send it to Steve Freeman       freemas@lsbuu.ac.uk

iii)   Include the following information in the covering email: a) your name and home address     b) Your private email address   c) email address for your School’s HR Partner. 

Steve will forward this email to our Regional Official who will send it to Thompsons solicitors (a law firm that deals with trade union issues and advice) on your behalf; you will then be contacted directly by Thompsons.

Voluntary Severance Clarification 1

Dear members

I sent the following letter and have had a reply which I will circulate following this.

Mandy Eddolls Executive Director of Organisational Development and HR

Date:   7th August 2015

Dear Mandy,

A number of members have raised queries with me over Voluntary Severance. I have heard that there are queries about the PL/Assoc Professor process, although as yet I have no details. 


Voluntary Severance

A.       HPL employment of academic staff who take Severance

It has been said that members taking severance will be eligible for Part-Time contracts if there is a need for their services and if they want to be available. Subsequently it has been reported that there is a ban or barrier on such employment.

This has been reported to me from one faculty. Staff would like this to be clarified. It cannot apply to one faculty because we are employed by LSBU and the same rights and opportunities should be available for all.

UCU members would think that an arbitrary ban of HPL contracts for ex-employees (after their notice period has ended) is not in the interests of LSBU, students and staff. Where there is work to be done (and this is a severance package and not redundancy) it makes operational sense to employ ex-employees who have the academic/teaching knowledge and awareness of how the institution works. 

B.      VS notice period       

It has been stated that those with ‘silver book’ conditions will not be given one year’s notice and this has been accepted. However please confirm that all academic staff have three months’ notice.

The notice period will commence on September 1 2015 when all the details of the offer have been given to staff for checking and advice taken from lawyers and then acceptance. The exact date of leaving will be locally agreed within that envelope. 

Please confirm or clarify these points as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Steve Freeman

Chair UCU

Voluntary Severance Clarification 2

Dear members


UCU will make some comment on this next week. But at present to keep you informed here is the reply below from HR.


Dear Steve


Mandy has asked me to respond to the points you raise in your letter dated 7 August relating to Voluntary Severance.


A.      HPL employment of academic staff who take Severance


The Voluntary Severance panel at its meeting on 13 July decided that staff for whom voluntary severance was agreed would not be able to be re-employed within a 12 month period of taking voluntary severance.  This included re-employment on Sessional or HPL hours.  Deans and Professional Services leads were given the option of extending leaving dates if this caused operational problems.


A very small number of exceptions have been made to this general embargo for specific operational reasons agreed by the Executive such as a very limited number of hour to cover Phd supervision.


B.      VS notice period


As per the VS policy, individual leaving dates were determined by Deans/Professional Services Leads based on operational needs.


PL staff were given notice that VS was agreed on 17 June (earliest leaving date of 16 September where 3 months’ notice applies)

General VS staff were given notice on 1 August (earliest leaving date of 31 October 2015 where 3 months’ notice applies)


There are a small number of instances where earlier leaving dates have been agreed to meet operational or individual personal circumstances.





Grade 9 Associate Professor Posts and Contract

UCU is advising people who have received documents to sign as part of the offer of the Associate Professor post to hold off signing until we have obtained further clarification over certain contractual terms. This is especially the case regarding Silver Book conditions such as 1 year's redundancy notice.

Advice on Grades 6, 7 & 8 Job Descriptors and Appraisal

Dear members,

This is to confirm our previous statements regarding the Grade 6, Grade 7 (L) and Grade 8 (SL) Descriptors. We are in the middle of a negotiating process. Some progress has been made. But there are a number of important connected issues still to be resolved, not least the thorny issue of the new lower grade 6. UCU is concerned about the issue of 'downgrading' academic staff.

Our next step is to discuss the position at a UCU Co-Comm early this week. We will inform you of our view when the full CC has discussed it. Then there will be a branch meeting. Rest assured we will not agree anything not approved by the branch.

In the meantime members must not use or refer to these proposed documents in Appraisals. That would be premature. It would only complicate the negotiations and lead to delay. If your manager tries to introduce these matters then politely inform them that you have been advised by your Union not to comment on them until the negotiations are concluded.

UCU Reps Training

Dear members

As part of building and organising the branch, UCU is putting on training. Any member who would consider (but are not sure) becoming a rep please contact us for this course. You would then be better informed about the pros and cons.

Please contact Russell Caplan, Allan Gopal, Steve Freeman or Adrian Budd if you might consider the course below.   

Reps 1 - Induction

We invite you to this course which is aimed at all new UCU reps and Branch Officers.  We encourage all UCU activists to attend the first module of this course regardless of which role is held within the branch.

This course will cover the following:

•   the purpose of UCU, its structure, functions and democratic

    processes, and how you can get involved

•   your role and other UCU roles within the branch

•   your rights as a UCU rep

•   how to apply a trade union approach to your work as a UCU


•   how to develop a local campaign

•   the relationship between organising and campaigning,

    sustainability and the overall effectiveness of the branch

•   changes to equality legislation and help to embed equality into your

    work as a UCU rep

•   how to apply equality good practice and UCU equality policy

•   the support available to you as a UCU rep