| 21 September 2012 | Issue 580
› Contents: news; people; Lancaster in the news; notices; training and courses; what's on; ads
2012-13 Pay Negotiations
This is a challenging year for all organisations and businesses in the UK, particularly so for HEIs, which are continuing to adjust to reductions in public funding and policy changes which at Lancaster and elsewhere have contributed to significant uncertainty about admissions in 2012/13 with the total admissions to English HEIs falling, which has been considerable in some disciplines.
Lancaster University is one of 151 HE institutions which participate in the New JNCHES (Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff) negotiating process to determine pay rates for most of its staff.
The New JNCHES meetings for 2012-13 concluded with the employers making a final offer of 1% on all pay points from August 2012. This was against the background of the HE trade unions’ (EIS, GMB, UCU, Unison and Unite) joint claim for an increase on all pay points of 7% (RPI as 3.7% in February 2012 plus an additional 3.3%), a commitment to a ‘Living Wage’ and further work on equality issues.
However, all trade unions rejected the employers’ offer and are preparing to ballot for industrial action.
Whether or not you are a union member, there are some important considerations I want to bring to your attention as we move, I hope, towards an amicable conclusion to these talks that seeks to preserve both our reputation and our business:
- The HE sector continues to face considerable uncertainties and financial insecurity; sustainability remains pivotal as HEIs make ongoing adjustments to working within the new funding regimes. Meeting the unions’ pay claim of 7% would cost the HE sector in the region of £1bn. This would undoubtedly place some institutions in real financial difficulty.
- Lancaster University remains committed to the negotiation outcomes for 2012-13. The final pay offer of 1% is set alongside a number of joint working proposals on other important elements of the Unions’ claim, including the response to the ‘Living Wage’ campaign and offer for further work on equality issues.
- The headline pay increase is just one part of the overall staff benefit package, one that includes excellent conditions of service, defined benefits pensions and provision for incremental pay increases. Typically, 35-40% of staff receive incremental increases each year, in addition to the negotiated increase.
- Despite the economic difficulties and inflation issues that have impacted on all, HE pay and benefits packages continue to compare favourably to many other groups outside of the HE sector.
- Lancaster University notes that the trade unions’ Living Wage campaign is an important part of their claim. The 1% uplift would bring the equivalent hourly rate paid to all staff at Lancaster University to at least the proposed Living Wage (£7.20 per hour).
'Fingerprinting' breakthrough offers improved brain tumour diagnosis
Scientists have made a breakthrough in a new method of brain tumour diagnosis, offering hope to tens of thousands of people. Researchers, led by Professor Francis Martin from LEC, have shown that infrared and Raman spectroscopy – coupled with statistical analysis – can be used to tell the difference between normal brain tissue and the different tumour types that may arise in this tissue, based on its individual biochemical-cell ‘fingerprint’. Full story.
Three HR stars at Lancaster University Management School
Lancaster University’s Centre for Performance-Led HR has three professors listed among the top 15 thinkers in the field of HR. Every year HR magazine compiles the Most Influential List of directors and thinkers who have the greatest influence in the field of people strategy. Professor Cary Cooper CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, is ranked at number four; Mike West, Professor of Organisational Psychology at number five; and Professor Paul Sparrow, Director of the Centre for Performance-Led HR, jointly at number 14th. Full story.
Local people design their own public space
Researchers at ImaginationLancaster are helping local people to get involved in shaping the future of part of the historic city centre. Hundreds of people have so far taken part in the Beyond the Castle project which aims to create a high-quality public space around Lancaster’s castle and priory. Dr Leon Cruickshank of ImaginationLancaster is the UK project leader of Beyond the Castle, part of the PROUD EU INTERREG developed in close collaboration with Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council. The next event Just Imagine The Shape of the Park is on 22 September. Full story.
Honour for Lancaster poet
Professor Paul Farley (English and Creative Writing) has been included in a new piece of civic architecture in Liverpool that gathers together the names of writers associated with the city. The Central Library held a topping out ceremony last week, unveiling a 20 metre high granite panel displaying the names of writers chosen by public vote. The literary panel is part of a £50m scheme – that began in the autumn of 2010 – to completely redevelop and renovate the city centre library, which reopens next year. See the story in the Liverpool Echo.
Flexible Benefits 2012/13
Annual enrolment has now closed and the benefits choices are currently being processed. The process for travel selections is as follows:
- For staff who have selected a parking permit, car share permit or scratchcards – these will be sent to your home address in the first week of October. If you have changed address in the last month and have not already updated it using employee self-service, please contact Nick Thoume, HR, on 01524 510614 as soon as possible – otherwise your pass will be sent to your old address.
- Special Needs Permit – please contact Angela Mackay-Fowler in Occupational Health on 01524 510643.
- Emeritus Professors and staff on unpaid contracts – you will need to contact the Car Parking Office in Security in person or by telephone (ext. 92179) from Monday 24 September. The Car Parking Office will then open the online permit application system for you to access.
- Subsidised Unirider Bus Passes – applications for subsidised staff bus passes are currently being processed. HR will contact all staff who have applied for the bus pass to let them know when they can go collect their pass from LUSU in Slaidburn House. Staff must take a valid Lancaster University library card with them to collect their bus pass.
Launch of new Student Portal
ISS have launched a new Student Portal which provides a single access point for students to a wide range of information and services including access to their virtual learning spaces, email, timetable and Library information. The student portal is accessible at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/portal. A short video has been prepared to show staff what students will see when logged into the student portal.
Congratulations to Dr Michael Ginger (Biomedical and Life Sciences) and Dr Judit Kormos (Linguistics and English Language) on their award of a Readership.
Professor Andrew Binley (Lancaster Environment Centre) is the 2012 recipient of the Frank Frischknecht Leadership Award for his long-term contributions to the field of near-surface geophysics, and in particular hydrogeophysics. This award is jointly presented by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS) and was established “to recognize an individual who shows extraordinary leadership in advancing the domain of near-surface geophysics".
From 16 - 30 September eight ImaginationLancaster students and Professor Stuart Walker are participating in an Erasmus Intensive programme. The programme is entitled: “Emerging Theories, Methodologies and Applications in the area of Design: Sustainability & Service Design”. The programme, hosted by the University of the Aegean, brings together students and professors from four European universities. The programme will also be offered in September 2013. Further details can be found here.
A book by Dr Jo Warin (Educational Research) called 'Stories of Self; tracking children's identity and wellbeing through the school years' has been reviewed favourably in the Times Higher Education 'What are you Reading? column. The book is published by Trentham Books.
New College Principal needed
Would you be interested in a part-time role as a College Principal, with your department receiving a buy-out for the loss of your time? We are seeking a new Principal for Cartmel College from 1 January 2013. The Colleges are regarded as one of Lancaster’s distinctive features. As a Principal, you would play a role in leading the College team and shaping the life of your College for both staff and students. The role is both challenging and rewarding and you would be ably supported by the existing team of officers. You would need:
- A strong interest in people
- The ability to listen to College members
- The ability to represent your College’s views, and conversely to explain University policy to College members
- a willingness to participate in University policy-making
- a creative approach to trouble shooting
Appointments are normally for a period of 3 years, and a quarter of your time would be ‘bought out’ from your department, subject to discussion with your Head of Department. Further particulars, including a statement of duties and responsibilities, can be obtained from Hilary Simmons. For an informal discussion about what is involved, you are welcome to get in touch with Amanda Chetwynd (extension 92088). Applications or nominations should reach Hilary Simmons in the College and Student Life by 28 October 2012.
The Financial Times has an article on entrepreneurs-in-residence at LUMS and writer Sarah Maitland from the Department of English and Creative Writing is interviewed for The Telegraph.
Follow link to see a list of people in the news.
Friends programme funding available in December
See details and application form here. Please ensure that applications have been submitted for authorisation by 5pm Friday 16 November 2012. Deadline for all applications to be submitted to the Alumni & Development Office: 5pm Friday 23 November 2012. Enquiries to Rachel Newbury in the Alumni and Development Office on ext 92904.
Building projects across campus
To view a summary of recently completed projects, and projects currently underway across campus visit the Facilities website.
The Sports Centre will be running free 6 week coaching courses for 18-25 year olds, thanks to the Lottery funded programme Sportivate. Courses will lead to a National Indoor Climbing Achievement Scheme (NICAS) award. Courses will run every Wednesday from:
- 3 October- 7 November, 5.30pm-7.00pm
- 14 November – 19 December, 5.30pm-7.00pm
Spaces are limited so book now by contacting the Sports Centre reception on 01524 510600. For further information visit www.sportcentrelancaster.co.uk.
Information day – EU Projects
Judith Litjens, of UKRO (the UK Research Council’s jointly funded office in Brussels), will be visiting Lancaster University on Wednesday 26 September. Judith will be giving a presentation to provide detailed information about the European Commission’s final calls under the FP7 research funding programme, including Co-operation, Marie Curie Actions and the European Research Council (ERC), followed by a short presentation on the next framework programme - Horizon 2020. The presentations will be between 9.30 - 11.30 in Conference Centre Meeting Room 2. Judith will also be available for individual/small group surgery sessions between 12.00 - 12.30 and 14.15- 16.15 in B16, University House. These sessions provide an opportunity for individuals or small groups to discuss in more detail any aspects of the Framework Programme.
If you are interested in taking part in this visit, please contact the Research Support Office by Monday 24 September stating:
- If you wish to attend the morning presentation;
- If you are interested in one of the individual/small group sessions. For these sessions you will need to provide information on the times you could attend, the names of any colleagues that will attend with you and the topics which you would like to discuss.
Please note that there are only two individual session slots still available and these will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
Moodle - The new teaching VLE
Moodle is replacing LUVLE as the standard VLE supported by ISS from September 2012. Please visit the Moodle Support Website for information about demos, lab sessions and consultation sessions scheduled between now and the start of term or to download user guides. One-to-one support is available for staff who require assistance with their Moodle module spaces which have been migrated from LUVLE. Please contact (Ruth Paterson in ISS to arrange an appointment with an eLearning Assistant.
Study Mandarin Chinese with Lancaster University Confucius Institute
Classes start week beginning 8 October. For further information on Beginners’ Levels 1, 2 and 3 please see here. Ten week courses cost £30 for students, £40 for staff and £45 for others. Please register and pay at the online store here. If you are interested in other levels please email.
Staff IT training
Upcoming free IT training sessions run by ISS, in the Library Training suites. All training sessions require booking, unless otherwise stated, please book online.
- Windows 7 and Office 2010 General User Tips ‘n’ Tricks
Monday 24 September, 1.00pm – 1.30pm
Wednesday 26 September, 2.00pm – 2.30pm
- Mandatory: Information Security Training
Wednesday 26 September, 9.15am – 12.30pm
- Mandatory: Information Security Training - Online – follow the link for details
- Data Protection and Freedom of Information - Drop In Sessions: C29, University House – no booking necessary
Wednesday 26 September, 2.00pm – 3.00pm
More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.
Organisation and Educational Development
Making Professor Event – 25/09/12 – 9.30-16.15 - This event is aimed at all academic and research staff that are interested in equality and diversity in academic career development. It will be opened by the Vice Chancellor and will include invited internal and external speakers as well as break out discussion sessions. For more information please click here. To book a place please email OED.
Language courses on campus this term - for staff and students
Lancashire Adult Learning (Lancashire County Council's Education Service), in association with Lancaster University, are offering a range of language courses on campus starting week commencing 22nd October. Courses include French, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Spanish and British Sign Language. All courses are 6 weeks (apart from British Sign Language). The fee is £66 (£75.60 for non EU residents). British Sign Language Introduction runs for 4 weeks and the fee is £55 (£63 for non EU residents). You can enrol on campus on Thursday 4 October or Friday 5 October, 10am – 3pm both days in the Reception area of FASS (Advanced Studies Dept) on North Spine, or call 0845 600 1331.
For further details see here
For a full list of all events, please see Events.
Intro Week talks
We are running a series of general interest talks in Intro week for new students. Staff might particularly be interested in a talk on the history of Lancaster and would be very welcome - An Illustrated History of Lancaster – A vibrant student city with a fascinating and varied past by Janet Nelson - 1.00pm, Frankland Lecture Theatre Tuesday 2 October. There is no need to register, just turn up if you would like to attend.
Beyond the Castle
The Beyond the Castle project, led by ImaginationLancaster at LICA, wants to make a high-quality public space around Priory Green, Vicarage Fields and Quay Meadows in Lancaster city centre. A special drop-in session and workshop is being held on Saturday 22 September for people to share their ideas about how to improve the area. The workshop takes place from 2pm - 8pm on the Priory Green and at The Storey, where there will be free refreshments and pizza.
Object – Memory - Fine Art MA Show - LICA
Contemporary Art Research - LICA at Lancaster University, by David Ogle BA (Hons) MA and Alistair Parker BA (Hons) MA
Preview - 6.pm Friday 21st September 2012
Show - Saturday 22nd till Friday 27th September 10am till 4 pm
Venue – The Installation Space, LICA Building, Lancaster University, LA1 4YW
For further information see here
All adverts - posted by staff.