Management’s lies on promotions

Senior management are now openly blaming UCU for the fact that there is no academic promotions procedure in operation at University of Brighton. 

This is a brazenly lie designed to shift the blame to union members from those who are really responsible: Andrew Lloyd, Julie Fryatt, Rusi Jaspal, and of course, Debra Humphris.

Brighton’s management have long wanted to get rid of the current promotions procedure. In 2017-18, they unilaterally cancelled the promotions round from Senior Lecturer to Principal Lecturer.  UCU strike action forced its reinstatement. In return, UCU committed to negotiate with the University over a revised promotions procedure. 

In 2022, the University finally cashed in that commitment, but they hitched negotiations over promotions to their newly proposed academic pathways framework. Negotiations took place over a number of months but were focused on the University’s pathways idea. During that time, the University never brought to the table a single proposal for revising the promotions procedure.

In January 2023, the University sabotaged the negotiations by unilaterally suspending the existing promotions procedure. UCU declared a dispute, demanding its reinstatement. Despite the involvement of ACAS there was no resolution because the University was adamant that the agreed, long-standing promotions procedure was scrapped for good. 

Management’s charge that UCU is blocking promotions is the exact opposite of the truth. We have consistently demanded that the existing promotions procedure be reinstated and remain in place until a revised procedure is agreed. 

Don’t be fooled. The University bears sole responsibility for the fact that no academic staff have been promoted since 2022. Their motivation is clear. Suspending promotions is entirely consistent with their aim of reducing the wage bill by keeping more staff on lower grades. Having blocked promotions and targeted Principal Lecturers for redundancy last year, it is completely hypocritical for management to now pretend to be in favour of staff progressing up the pay scales. 

The right to be promoted is now bound up with the battle to defend our contracts and prevent the University from turning us into further education lecturers.

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