Cambridge University Reporter

Report of Discussion

Tuesday, 21 June 2005. A Discussion was held in the Council Room of the Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board, dated 31 May 2005 and 23 May 2005, on a new pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff (p. 745).

Professor A. D. CLIFF:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, before I introduce this Report, I would like make a statement about the procedures followed in its preparation, and also make a personal declaration of interest. My remarks arise directly from the comments on potential conflicts of interest made by Professor Boyle in the Discussion of the Third Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the ownership of intellectual property rights.

One way and another, the present Report affects the remuneration of all the University's employees, and it will be evident to anyone who has read it that nearly everyone stands to gain by some amount if the proposals are adopted. A possible conflict of interest affects almost everyone who is likely to speak today. It was a serious consideration for all members of the Personnel Committee during the preparation of the Report. The issue was discussed by the senior officers, including the Vice-Chancellor, and in the Personnel Committee; I have reported the procedures we adopted to the General Board and to the Council. And so I would like to reassure the Regent House that, in the preparation of this Report, every effort was made to avoid any conflict of interest while maintaining a functioning Personnel Committee. No member of the Personnel Committee was responsible for developing the proposals in the Report which applied to their own personal circumstances. The Chair of the Committee was variously the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and the Vice-Chair, Dr G. A. Reid (St John's College). Finally, as these proposals stand, the direct effect upon me as Pro-Vice-Chancellor will be to increase my gross annual salary by approximately £2,500. With this important preamble, let me now turn to the Report itself.

In July 2004, the Council and the General Board began the process of implementing the Framework Agreement for the modernization of pay structures in the Higher Education (HE) sector by publishing a Joint Consultative Report on a new pay and grading structure for the University's non-clinical staff. The Framework Agreement, signed in 2003, was the culmination of two years of negotiations between the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) and the various trade unions recognized across the HE sector. For academic and academic-related staff, the Agreement was supplemented in 2004 by a Memorandum of Understanding between UCEA and the Association of University Teachers (AUT).

The Council and the General Board received the remarks made at the Discussion of the Consultative Report on 12 October 2004 (Reporter, 20 October 2004, pp. 84-104), along with comments from a University-wide consultation. They now submit this, their Second Joint Report, which takes account of this feedback and sets out firm proposals for the implementation of a new pay and grading structure for the University's non-clinical staff. The main features of the proposals are:

The proposals will provide the University with a highly flexible pay model which will equip it to reward all staff appropriately, and to compete effectively in local, national, and international labour markets for the staff it requires to maintain its current international pre-eminence in teaching and research.

The Report reflects a strong working partnership with the trades unions locally and nationally. They have played a central role in helping the University develop the proposals in the Report against a number of constraints. These include the terms of the Framework Agreement, the timetable for implementation, the Memorandum of Understanding, the complex starting position provided by the University's present pay arrangements, and the affordability of any new grade structure. The Council and the General Board acknowledge the input of all the trade unions represented in the University, as well as the role of national trade union officers, in shaping the present proposals. While the University recognizes that the trade unions will wish to ballot their members on the proposals, including any changes arising out of its consideration in the Regent House, the Joint Trades Union Negotiating Committee accept the broad thrust of the proposals as representing substantial progress towards meeting their expectations with respect to implementation of the national agreements. All participants in the negotiations appreciate that a number of issues relating to future implementation remain to be resolved, but are agreed that sufficient progress has been made to allow the second Report to be put forward for consideration by the University. Indeed, since that point was reached, a resolution has been achieved with the AUT with regard to matters covered by the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure the principle of no detriment. These include progression within grades, progression between grades, and expectations concerning career progression and career earnings for existing and future staff for the foreseeable future.

The trade unions have also played a full part in the University-wide dissemination of information about the Report's proposals. There have been five open meetings attended by roughly 1,500 of the University's 8,500 staff. Newsletters have kept all staff informed at critical stages in the preparation of the Report. Meetings with Chairs and Secretaries of Schools, Heads of Departments, Heads of non-School institutions, and a dedicated University website have also facilitated the development process. The Board of Scrutiny has been supplied, for information, with developmental drafts of the Report. The Report has also been discussed by the University Assistants Joint Board.

The grading structure which lies at the heart of the Report owes much to a Working Group consisting of two nominees from each of the six Schools, representatives from the University Library, the University Computing Service, and the Unified Administrative Service, together with members of the Personnel Division. A smaller sub-group undertook detailed work on behalf of the Working Group, including the examination of alternative grade structures and the assessment of the impact of these upon particular groups of staff. The advice of the Statistical Laboratory was taken in fixing sample sizes and experimental designs to test different grade structures and to estimate costs. The Council and the General Board acknowledge the inputs of all these stakeholders to the process.

The grading structure itself inevitably contains compromises. As noted originally in the Consultative Report and again here, current grades and scales within the University have 3-4% steps which have to be merged onto a nationally agreed single spine which has 3% steps. At the same time, current and lifelong earning expectations, along with rates of progression through scales, need to be considered. The structure also has to be affordable. The impact of these constraints has been to disturb an entirely orderly progression in the balance between service and contribution points as the grading structure moves from grade 1 (more service than contribution points) to grade 12 (all contribution points).

Implementation of the proposals in this Report will have significant cost implications for the University including, for example, upon Schools, Departmental trust funds, and other discretionary funding sources. Implementation will also impact upon the research grant income received from Research Councils, charities, and commercial sources because these support many staff in the University. Pay-modelling software applied to the University as a whole, to certain university-wide categories of support staff, and to a large science department have been used both to estimate the likely costs falling on the Chest for transferring all non-clinical staff to the single spine and for different scenarios of regrading of staff via role analysis. The mid-range estimate of implementation costs remains at £5m as given in the Consultative Report, with lower and upper bounds of £3.85m and £6.37m. These figures have been reported to the Council and are judged as affordable in the University's current financial circumstances. The majority of the spend will be upon the assimilation of support staff. The immediate costs have been allowed for in the University's forward planning. At least half of the total will be covered by recurrent income under HEFCE's Rewarding and Developing Staff (RDS) initiative. In addition, a contingency reserve of recurrent RDS money of £0.5m has been established against unanticipated outcomes from regrading.

Non-Chest costs are also expected to be around £5m. It is anticipated that non-Chest sources of funding will cover these within two to three years as grant applications prepared with knowledge of the new grade structure and in the light of full economic costing take effect. To handle the transition period, the University has earmarked £1.8m from RDS funding.

Nevertheless, there are areas of uncertainty in estimating long-term costs including the operation of the supplementary and market pay schemes for different categories of staff. Affordability will be a key concern in the initial years of operating the new arrangements. The proposals in this Report envisage key roles for the Schools and Heads of non-School institutions in managing costs. Transparency of individual pay outcomes at the level of Schools and Heads of non-School institutions is proposed to facilitate this process.

Acceptance of these proposals means that nearly all staff will enjoy an immediate pay rise averaging 1.5%. But, inevitably, assimilating some 8,500 staff currently placed on over 200 grades to a 12-grade structure will throw up anomalies. Those staff for whom role assessment indicates underpayment for the jobs they perform will be regraded and enjoy a larger pay rise. Our best estimate is that around 15% of staff may be so affected. In some other instances, affecting around 7% of staff, role analysis is likely to suggest they are overgraded. Such staff will be pay-protected for up to four years while the situation is resolved as detailed in the Report.

It is expected that all staff will have been moved onto the single spine not later than April 2006. The impact upon pay packets will be backdated to 1 January 2006. The implementation dates have been incorporated into submissions made to the HEFCE in respect of the University's HR Strategy to obtain significant additional funding under the RDS initiative. The Regent House is reminded of the imperative in the Framework Agreement to complete the modernization of pay structures in individual HEIs not later than 1 August 2006. The potential risks to the University at large consequent upon delay or failure include loss of recurrent RDS funding (around £2.65m annually), equal pay claims, reputational damage arising from failure to complete implementation of the Framework Agreement to time, damage to employee relations, and increasing constraint on the University's ability to recruit and retain staff.

In commending these proposals and the associated nine recommendations to the Regent House, the Council and the General Board recognize that the new structures imply a series of downstream questions relating to conditions of employment, pensions, and membership of the Regent House. Some of these issues are flagged in the Report and they will be the subject of further consultation and Reports to the University in the near future. Thus this Report should be seen as the first stage in a continuing process of modernization of the pay, grading, and employment conditions of the staff of the University.

Professor W. A. BROWN:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, my comments on this Report are based on over twenty years of experience as an industrial arbitrator, and my having been, until recently, a long-standing independent member of the governing Council of ACAS. I also approach the Report as a one-time AUT activist with 37 years of union membership. I have watched many other organizations go through the process we have here of assimilating diverse pay systems into a single, integrated, and consistent structure. Can I put the Report before us in this comparative context?

In any such exercise there is an unavoidable element of rough justice, with varying degrees of protection through 'red circling'. But, in the case of the proposal in front of us, such roughness is, by comparison with experience elsewhere, unusually slight. The combination of HEFCE transitional funding, and the good sense of the University to invest in a thorough restructuring, have ensured that we should move to a vastly fairer, and more effective, pay structure with immediate financial benefit to the vast majority of staff, and substantial protections to the remainder.

The professionalism with which these proposals have been prepared (in which I have played no part) has been, by any standards, impressive. The extended consultation exercise, both through trade unions and directly with staff has, I suspect, been the most exhaustive in this University's history. The achievement of agreement on the consequent complex but necessary compromises is, indeed, an achievement, by all concerned.

The Report offers a firm basis for the fairer management of pay in this University in the future, and it offers a smooth transition towards that. It deserves all our support.

Professor J. R. SPENCER:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Board of Scrutiny have followed the development of the proposals in this new Report. We have held helpful meetings with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and with the Director of Personnel and his staff, and for their time and help we warmly thank them. We now wish to make the following comments.

We think this Second Report is a very significant improvement on the first one. In particular the proposed grading structure, which now has 13 grades, offers a much improved system which avoids some obvious weaknesses in the former model, particularly relating to assistant staff. We also welcome the improved arrangements for so-called 'red-circled' staff including the use of 'contributory' points for assimilation. (Both of these, we note, were among the suggestions made at the first Discussion.)

However, we believe the current proposals can be further improved. Indeed, we believe that in some areas they need amending if a suitable pay and grading system for the University is to result. Six issues particularly concern us.

First, there is transparency. Paragraph 6.15 of the Report states 'The information published presently in the Reporter appears to be a reasonable compromise for resolving the tensions, and it is proposed that this continues'. But the effect of the recommendations in the Report is that much information currently published annually in the Reporter and in Statutes and Ordinances will cease to be published. Annex 10 proposes that the current Schedules I, II, and III, which specify the salary scales applicable to all University offices (and in the case of a range of senior officers - such as the Registrary, the Development Director, certain other Directors - the actual base salary) be rescinded. This the Board believes to be neither necessary, nor desirable.

There is a complexity here which we must disentangle. The Schedules include not only the base salary, or spine point, of all ofices individually specified but also the scales for all other University offices. In the future, assuming HERA is adopted, this will be significantly changed. The salary range for a particular individual holding any office (with the specific exception of academic offices) will no longer be determined by their office but by the new grade to which their role has been matched or assigned via HERA. Thus, for example, some Assistant Registraries might be assigned to new grade 8 while others might be assigned to grade 9. Because of this it makes some sense for the Report to propose to discontinue publishing scales for offices occupied by multiple individuals. But this argument does not apply to offices occupied by single individuals. These could easily be specified in Ordinances. The Board believes that to combine a change permitting greater salaries to be paid to our senior officers with one in which the publication of such salaries in Ordinances is discontinued is not acceptable. Throughout this Report, changes proposed are justified by the need for transparency. But if these proposals pass as they stand, the result will be hide what is at present clear.

The Board believes that the grades of all staff ought to be publicly available; we understand that this information is already collated. In addition, the base stipend of all staff in grade 12 should be published too. It also believes that details of all market supplements should be published, as should all payments for administrative responsibility.

The reasons that underlie our view are two. First, the University is a body that spends large amounts of public money. Where this is so, the public has a right to know who gets what. Secondly, it is a sound principle of public administration that the pay of those who are employed to run an institution should be published to those in whose interests they are paid to run it.

Our second point, which is in a similar vein, concerns the arrangements for market supplements. The basic idea behind the HERA scheme is equal pay for equal work; but market supplements - necessary as they may be - follow a different philosophy and, if not controlled, have the potential to make a mockery of the main idea. The Board propose that all market supplements above 10%, including those approved by the Vice-Chancellor (cf. Annex 5), should be subject to ratification by a statutory body. In the case of senior staff, including academic staff, we believe this should be the Council. We suggest that serious consideration should be given to fixing a limit to the value of market supplements. We tentatively suggest a limit of 50% of base salary, or a cash limit of 50% of point 92 (£54,550). Also, as indicated above, the Board believes that the details of all market supplements paid to individuals should be published, preferably with justification.

Our third point concerns statistical analysis. In our comments on the First Report we urged that 'the Personnel Committee, the General Board, and the Council should ensure that the implementation is statistically watertight by taking professional advice, e.g. by recruiting a statistician to the project team and by ensuring that his/her advice is followed '. Paragraph 3.8 states that 'the Statistical Laboratory … provided advice on acceptable sample sizes and confidence levels'. This gives the impression that the advice was followed. The Board have reason to believe that this is rather misleading. We believe the advice received was that sample sizes of at least 20 and preferably 50 were necessary. Our information is that the former condition has been met for a handful of grades and the latter for only one. The result of this is that the estimates of the mapping of existing staff to the new proposed grades are subject to significant uncertainty. The same uncertainty prevails in the assessment of the potential cost of the exercise.

This brings us to the fourth (and related) issue which is cost. The Report is commendably open about the uncertainty of the eventual costs. Regent House should note that, so far as the Board can see, the cost estimates in the Report do not include national insurance and pension contributions so that the full cost (including one-off costs) is likely to be between £5m and £7.5m in the first year, and significantly more recurrently after full implementation in four years' time. If the costs are higher than anticipated, then potentially the University has problems, because (as everybody knows) we are currently fighting to control a budgetary deficit. It could mean that, in a few years' time, we are faced with the need to start cutting staff.

Fifthly, we are not convinced that sufficient data exist to ensure that the HERA points ranges applied to each new grade (Annex 2) are the best fit that can be achieved.

As far as academic staff are concerned, the decision has been taken not to conduct for each person a role analysis leading to a decision ad personam, but instead to transfer everyone from the old pay scales to the new one by deeming each of the various levels in the existing hierarchy of academic posts to qualify for a given number of HERA points, so that the University's academic staff will be transferred from the old system to the new system en bloc. For the rest of the staff, however, each person can in principle be assessed individually, awarded the appropriate number of HERA points, and with those be placed on the new scale. Given the inadequacies of the statistical analysis, it is unclear on what basis the range of HERA points that should apply to each grade has been decided. Without adequate data there can be no guarantee that the en-bloc mapping of academic staff to grades with predetermined HERA points is fair to either academic or non-academic staff. The Board believes it would be wiser to postpone fixing the HERA ranges for each grade until significantly more staff have been HERA-analysed or matched. The Board understands that most if not all other universities that have so far published their new grade structures have not applied fixed HERA points ranges. It believes that it would be better if, at this point, Cambridge proceeded likewise.

Finally, we draw the attention of the Regent House to an important aspect of the Report that deals with the pay of senior administrative staff. At present, this is 'work in progress'. In paragraph 6.9 we are told that 'HERA will be used to determine the band on proposed grade 12 in which basic salary falls for the office/post (academic-related staff at the professorial level); once relevant roles have been assessed it will be possible to assign HERA points scores to bands'. What this means, in reality, is that it has yet to be decided whereabouts on the University's pay scale our senior administrators are to go. At some point to come, their roles will be analysed and HERA points allocated to them; and after that a decision will have to be made as to what the number of points on the University pay-scale those points are worth. Given the tight time-scale it may be necessary to proceed like this. But if it is, the Board believes that the result should be subject to the control of the Regent House. The Board accordingly propose that all HERA points ranges, including those for bands within grade 12, should be approved by Grace.

To sum up, the Board of Scrutiny makes the following recommendations:

1. The base salaries of all offices occupied by single individuals should continue to be published in Ordinances.

2. The grades of all staff should be publicly available.

3. The University should decide whether to limit the value of market supplements.

4. All market supplements above 10% base pay should be approved by a statutory body, and details of all market supplements and additional payments should be published.

5. All HERA point boundaries should be viewed as provisional until further statistical data is collected and analysed.

6. All HERA points ranges should be approved by Grace.

While recognizing the time constraints in which this exercise now has to be completed, we urge consideration of these points.


Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am Sylvia Martinelli, Vice-President of Cambridge AUT and one of the trade union negotiating team. I am the first of several speakers who are AUT members.

Our President Mike Clark is speaking today in his role as a member of Council, hence he is not speaking as the senior member of Cambridge AUT. As Vice-President that role falls to me today.

Before giving my substantive remarks, I should like to draw your attention to one of the great benefits on the recent negotiations held between the trade unions and Personnel following the National Framework Agreement over the pay and grading structure. It has brought AUT to the negotiating table with other campus unions Amicus, Unison, and ACUA. It is perhaps the first time we have had substantive discussions with each other and with management. In this we have been acting as part of JUNC - Joint Union Negotiating Committee. We have not been in total agreement on every issue, it would be unrealistic to expect that, but we have worked closely together and between us we have made a significant difference to what is put before you as the Second Report. Andy Cliff was kind enough to refer to this.

Turning to relationships between JUNC and the Personnel Division team: after many months of slow and tiring meetings which barely constituted negotiation, I am glad to report that in recent months, a large number of productive meetings has taken place, and we hope that the current level of partnership working can be maintained in the future. I would, though, like to point out some flaws in the negotiating structures and processes. At no time were JUNC able to talk directly with people such as Heads of Departments who were also being consulted by Personnel, nor did we ever meet with the University's Personnel Committee and only once did the joint unions meet at higher level (national union officials) with Andy Cliff. Had we done so it might have reduced the numbers of times that we agreed to a set of scales at one meeting only to find them completely changed by the next meeting, when a new variant was placed on the table without prior warning so that we could not consider the proposal adequately but merely offer to reply at the next meeting. Indeed the pay and grading scale which we made a supportive (not supporting) public declaration about was tabled on 29 April and since then has been substantially revised so it is definitely NOT the set of scales JUNC reluctantly agreed to let go forward to the Second Report.

While negotiating alongside JUNC, Cambridge AUT has also, with the knowledge of JUNC, been talking independently to Personnel because of the Memorandum of Understanding or MoU drawn up between AUT and UCEA nationally. Many of the points covered by the MoU were not adequately addressed by the proposals tabled to JUNC at that point and would if implemented lead to serious detriment to some of our members, both in terms of career progression and career earnings, meaning that we could not condone the pay and grading scales.

As recently as last week the AUT negotiating team has been having a series of further meetings with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel and the Personnel Division to try to ensure that the principles of the Memorandum of Understanding are adhered to. Substantial progress has been made in these negotiations.

The following proposals have been put to CAUT in addition to the content of the Second Report (Andy Cliff mentioned this briefly):

(1) A proposal for 'ghosted' or skipped points to ensure progression expectations are met for academic-related and academic staff on the new grades. This proposal is to apply to current staff in our grades and to future staff 'for the foreseeable future'. Any changes which might be proposed beyond that in the future would be negotiated with us. The detail of this proposal is quite involved but will ensure that it meets the terms of the MoU regarding progression through grades and expectations of career earnings.

(2) An expectation that all academic-related staff will be assimilated at new grade 6 or above, using appropriate role descriptors and advice to matching panels to this effect. This removes concerns about career progression raised by the introduction of the extra grade (grade 6) which was added into the most recent version of the grading structure.

(3) An expectation that Research Assistants will assimilate to new grade 5 but will move to grade 7 when appointed (as per existing criteria including the award of a Ph.D.) to Research Associate, again removing concerns about the extra grade.

(4) A commitment to work in partnership on career progression and development with a target of January 2006 for concrete proposals in line with the implementation of the new pay and grading structure.

Now these proposals answer one of our most serious concerns stemming from the MoU, i.e. that there should be no detriment to academic earnings over the short or long period. So far, so good. But what do these proposals mean in reality? They are not in the official record of the business of the University of Cambridge. Neither we in the AUT, nor all the other members of Regent House, have any formal guarantee that any of these proposals for the amendment of the Second Report will be implemented.

We have to say to you Vice-Chancellor that we in CAUT are not happy to back the Second Report as it stands. Currently, on paper, the Second Report does not comply with the MoU; it can only comply if those further proposals which I have outlined (1-4 above) are implemented. However, we do not wish to reject the Report out of hand. We most emphatically need to have a written agreement on these recent proposals which more or less meet with the criteria of the MoU. These proposals need to appear in the Reporter.

I should like to ask the Council and General Board to ensure that the proposals I outlined above are clarified and recorded in the written record by way of their response to this Discussion and any necessary modifications to the Report, Annexes, and Graces.

Will the Council and the General Board please give us a guarantee that AUT and the other unions will be in the partnership that moves forward into the new grade structure, in compliance with the Framework Agreement?

I need to add that the role profiles which will be used in the job matching exercise are being re-written even now to fit to the new 12+1 grade scheme. These have not yet been seen by JUNC but I remind the University that they need to consult us about these profiles before using them in real-life situations. I further remind the University that unions have agreed to role analysis on the basis of the HERA scheme and we need to be sure that the grades and corresponding role descriptors and role profiles are underpinned by a sound HERA analysis.

We in CAUT believe that if the extra last-minute proposals are enshrined in the Graces put to the University that there are reasonable grounds for expecting our members to suffer no detriment over the implementation of the new pay and grading scales and to benefit from the national agreements reached in spring 2004. Further to this, we need to ensure that the proposals are clear in order that AUT members can be balloted on their views on the implementation of the new pay and grading structure in accordance with their expectations of their trade union.

We, in the AUT, have not seen HERA scores for the various roles analysed so far and cannot judge their appropriateness. If the assumptions used in the modelling are wrong, there will be a very high human cost to be borne in terms of countless appeals against incorrect grading. The University's trade unions are prepared to play a full part in helping aggrieved employees through the subsequent re-grading and appeal procedure.

If we receive the assurances that our members need, then we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the University to ensure that the proposals in this Report are implemented in the best possible way.

Professor G. R. EVANS:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, conflicted I stand, but not for my first two paragraphs.

'The firm operates at the most senior levels advising in a truly strategic capacity. Their Technology Consulting practice is going through an exciting phase of growth and is looking to further complement their world-class team. This is an unrivalled opportunity to … work with like-minded individuals in a mature professional environment.' £75,000-£120,000 basic (Sunday Times Appointments section, 12 June).

Don't fancy that one? Then surely this is irresistible:

'Underlying this strategic repositioning is a change undertaking of unrivalled magnitude, in which an optimized supply chain is the critical success factor and goes straight to the heart of our client's exciting new direction.' £75,000-£135,000 (Sunday Times Appointments section, 12 June).

One could go straight to the heart of any exciting new direction for that kind of money. The University is never going to be able to compete at that kind of salary level unless it 'downsizes' to employ a mere handful, and yet the most dangerous threat to our own 'mature professional environment' is precisely this imperfectly thought through assumption that money drives everything, which lies behind all the careful work outlined by Professor Cliff (and I do recognize that every effort has been made). But his remarks also suggest that it is pretty uncertain what it will all cost.

There are drawbacks and I hope I shall be forgiven for noting one or two.

First, euphemistic talk of strategic positioning and restructuring. These could easily form a 'bullies and creeps' charter for clearing out the unfashionable kinds of work currently done in Cambridge. (How will Sanskrit hold up?) The Report on Allocations from the Chest we discussed two weeks ago spoke of retirement, redundancies, and repositioning for the RAE in paragraph 46. How can we be assured that this is not going to interact with and muddy proposals we are discussing?

Today, as we consider the Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a new pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff, many worried eyes will have fallen on the expression 'red-circled':

'3.12 Inevitably, some roles will be found to be over-graded; staff in these roles will be 'red-circled'. … On the basis of the trialling and modelling undertaken, it is estimated that approximately 7% will be red-circled; red-circling will principally affect academic-related and assistant staff.'

Exactly how this is going to be done is withheld from us:

'A detailed analysis of red- and green-circling, including distribution across the new grades, will be published following implementation of the new structure [i.e not before the new scheme begins].'

I foretell battles on the scale of those we all remember well for more and fairer academic promotions, but now (and overdue) on behalf of academic-related and assistant staff. Some employees, out of fashion or out of favour in their Departments, are going to face 'restructuring'.

And I hope it will not be forgotten that that sinister 'red-circling' is unlikely to stop at the mere note of financial disapproval admitted to (though that is important). Those who resist the various 'encouragements' to leave and continue to sit there doggedly inside their red circles will have a right to hold on to their existing contracts if they have been appointed to retiring age. But there are all sorts of ways of getting round the existing contractual rights of staff, by making their working lives wretched and denying them opportunities.

If your blood pressure allowed you to read the recent Notice on pay rises for clinical academic staff you will have noticed that those who insisted on keeping to their old contracts have been none too subtly disadvantaged salary-wise:

'The increase from 1 April 2005 is by 3% for Consultants who remain on the old honorary Consultant contract and 3.225% for Consultants who have transferred to the new (2003) contract.' The scales are, on the old contract, with effect from 1 April 2005: £57,370 to £74,658, and for those on the 2003 Consultant contract: £69,298 to £93,768.

Secondly, we must add patronage and prejudice to the 'bullies and creeps' problem. Professor Spencer is absolutely right about the need for publication and general transparency.

'3.2 … The Council and the General Board propose the following general principle: that an individual's remuneration will comprise one or more of the following four distinct elements: (i) basic salary; (ii) contribution increments or bands … (iii) market supplements … and (iv) payments for additional duties. Individuals will always have (i), but may have none or any combination of (ii)-(iv) as components of their salary.'

(ii)-(iv) are wide open to the old abuses of patronage, surely, and will cause great discontent and much resentment, precisely at the point where one employee compares himself with another. What the Pro-Vice-Chancellor has just called 'a highly flexible pay model' is a double-edged sword because of (ii)-(iv).

'3.5 Like all employers, in order to take account of equal pay considerations … the University needs an analytical job evaluation methodology that is applicable to all jobs in the institution. The Higher Education Role Analysis Scheme (HERA) has been developed in consultation with the trade unions nationally by a consortium of 110 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and it is recognized by the Equal Opportunities Commission as a non-discriminatory job evaluation scheme.'

Yes, but the unfairnesses in Cambridge probably have little to do with the comparisons made under equal opportunities legislation. We spent a lot of money finding out that we have equal opportunities problems, but I am 'equally' concerned about unfair treatment of able-bodied white males. Aficionados of Discussions may remember a speech of Professor David Dumville, in which he remarked:

'Some barons are no doubt cuddly and devoted to fairness and to the welfare of all their staff. But others are robber-barons who oppress their local peasantry. Bullying and other prejudicial behaviour by over-mighty managers cause stress and distress, suspensions, and loss of employment.' (

Let me quote one or two telling passages from the present Report:

'5.5 [Contribution element] in cases of poor performance, it is proposed that annual increments for academic staff and academic-related staff may be withheld under procedures to be determined [N.B., after the new scheme begins].'

'6.2 Market pay supplements provide flexibility, enabling competitive salaries to be paid where there are market premia without distortion of the grading structure or job evaluation methodology. Existing arrangements are ad hoc and are not transparent.'

'6.3 Details of how the proposed scheme for market supplements would work are at Annex 5 … [which says that] Written offers of appointment received by individuals from other potential employees may suggest a prima facie case for a market supplement.'

That will be easy enough for senior academics to arrange, but harder for the young beginner on a low rung of the ladder.

This is the more dangerous for academic staff when the nettle of the special features of their work has not been grasped.

'3.6 The Consultative Report had initially envisaged that the University should adopt HERA modified by 'Project Scholar' weightings … The Council and the General Board no longer propose to recommend their use.'

Oxford and Cambridge can be observed chasing one another round the houses in this area at present. First Oxford proposed its Academic Strategy, including the infamous threat that academic staff could be disciplined and dismissed for underperformance in terms of RAE-acceptable output. That led to the direct democracy springing to its collective feet and signing the following Resolution:

'In order to ensure the paramount principle of academic freedom, Congregation rejects any 'mandatory system of regular, joint University-College review of individual contributions, with scope to enhance financial rewards, re-balance academic duties, and address under-performance' as expressed in Oxford's Academic Strategy, a Green Paper, Strategy IV (c)'

… and the Debate of Congregation on 17 May, at which the Sheldonian Theatre was packed for four hours, and the Resolution was carried three to one on the spot. Oxford, however, has not had a published Pay and Grading Report like the one we are Discussing today (in its second recension). So now Oxford is (Gazette, 16 June, with amendment on the Web) 'To undertake a comprehensive review of arrangements for academic employment in the collegiate University, specifically:

(Readers of this Discussion when it is published may like to read a special Ninth Week issue of the Oxford Magazine, due out later this week, in which Cambridge contributors compare notes on this and other matters.)

I mention one final danger-area relating to the series of promises this Report contains that (rather important) questions will be looked at later:

'7.1 The outcome of the implementation of the proposals, if approved, will raise issues concerning the status of offices and posts, their nomenclature, and membership of the Regent House. It is proposed that, following consultation including the local trades unions, these matters be the subject of future, separate Reports.'

The future of University offices should surely not be 'left till later' like this?

Notice the bid to scare us into accepting this all in a rush before the summer is out, although the consequences will roll on for years to come.

'1.5 The implementation dates have been incorporated into submissions made to the HEFCE in respect of the University's HR Strategy to obtain significant additional funding under the Rewarding and Developing Staff (RDS) initiative.' There are dark hints of the 'potential risks to the University at large consequent upon delay or failure, and these include: loss of RDS funding; equal pay claims; reputational damage; and damage to employee relations [so do not call for a vote].'

I doubt if I am the only one with better things to do and a desire to engage in research and other activities without checking that they are 'contributory' in the eyes of a line-manager, who will choose to go, ahead of the implementation of any such scheme as this. We may prove quite expensive to replace if Cambridge 'is looking to further complement their world-class team' and go 'straight to the heart of (its/their?) exciting new direction'.

Professor A. M. DONALD:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak as Chair of the Cavendish Personnel Committee. It is encouraging to see how much progress has been made in addressing the concerns raised by the earlier Consultative Report, so that it is now possible to comment in much more favourable terms than previously. The Consultative Report caused considerable concern to many staff and, as I detailed in my contribution to the Discussion of that Report, undermined the morale and trust of members of staff, particularly assistant staff. Since that Discussion, considerable work has been done to address the concerns raised:

The reason for Recommendations I-III has been made clear - the recommendations will rationalize the current pay structure and will enable the University to meet its legal obligations and therefore protect itself against potentially very costly challenges. In order to ensure this protection is complete, and also to maintain the trust of all within the University, it is important that the implementation process is conducted fairly, properly, and transparently. It must not be fudged. This will involve a considerable amount of work across the University. For all that work not to have been in vain it must not be undermined by subsequent actions. In the present structure the title of offices determines the stipend - all holders of offices with the same title receive the same stipend. Under the current proposals this will not necessarily be the case. In the same way that, for example, not all current T5s may be transferred to the same new grade, so not all TOs or STOs may be transferred to the same new grade either - and this is the case for all academic-related offices. This will create tensions but, if the methodology is to be properly applied, this is unavoidable.

Of the remaining recommendations, Recommendation VII raises some concern. The University is being asked to approve a policy and procedure for market supplements which are at present only vaguely defined. This is an extremely tricky area and one which should be the subject of a separate Report, so that the policy can be properly assessed.

The Report refers briefly to harmonization of terms and conditions. This is an integral part of the movement to a single spine and the University should commit itself to bringing proposals before the Regent House in sufficient time to enable Graces to be implemented and to be effective from 1 January 2006. Furthermore it is hoped that the central bodies will work not only with the trade unions but also with Schools and non-School institutions, who can offer informed advice on the practicality of options.

I would reiterate that I am aware that this Second Report is the result of considerable work by a substantial number of people, and that much of that work has resulted from the concerns expressed at the Discussion of the Consultative Report. I would like to acknowledge this response, and encourage the central bodies to continue to seek out, and to listen to, views from across the University.

Professor J. K. M. SANDERS (read by Professor A. M. DONALD):

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I welcome this Second Report. It is clear that there has been a massive effort by the Personnel Division to involve key administrative staff in departments in shaping these new proposals. The result is a greatly improved outcome, but also I believe it marks the beginning of a greatly improved process.


Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am speaking today as Honorary Secretary of Cambridge AUT.

First of all I want to say that Cambridge AUT welcomes the greatly increased dialogue with Personnel that has come about through the work on these new pay structures. The second report represents a significant improvement over the first. We are now close to a set of proposals which we believe will be compliant with the Memorandum of Understanding which was the basis of the agreement on which AUT ended its industrial action last year. Section 3.9 of the Second Report says one of the considerations in making the proposals was: 'to be consistent with the principles of the Framework Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding'.

The Memorandum of Understanding states that: 'contribution thresholds in the pay scales for these staff should be set no lower than the present non-discretionary maxima for equivalent grades' and that 'this incremental progression to the contribution threshold will take no longer than under current equivalent arrangements.'

One of the most detrimental aspects of the original Framework Agreement on the Modernization of Pay Structures arises as a result of the threat of longer scales with smaller increments and consequential loss of career earnings. The new national pay spine has increments of 3% which is smaller than many of the increments on the pay scales currently used. This means that on assimilation to the new pay scale a current member of staff could take a longer time to reach the top of the pay scale thus losing money compared to what they would have received on the previous scales. This is also true for new staff who again would take a longer time to reach a similar maximum salary.

AUT's preferred solution to this would be to simply shorten those grades where this is an issue by deletion of points from the bottom. For existing staff who would be adversely affected by smaller increments we would like to see assimilation to an increment further up the new spine to ensure no loss of career earnings. However this proposal was not accepted.

The compromise reached after some difficult negotiations was a more complex solution which I hope I will be able to explain. This involves the use of 'ghost points' which are points that are skipped for certain people in certain circumstances. In the case of existing staff who would otherwise take longer to reach the top of their new grade than they would have required under the old pay scales, they will be assimilated onto the new grades as for all other staff at the spine point nearest to their current salary. In future years if their pay falls below what it would have been on the old pay scales they will receive two increments instead of one to ensure no loss of earnings. A similar procedure will also occur for new employees in posts which would otherwise face loss of careers earnings.

While we do not feel this is an ideal solution it is our opinion that this method will fulfil the terms of the MOU. We are concerned that this complicated system needs to be properly explained to existing staff. We belive this is best done by informing staff at the time of assimilation what increments they can expect to skip. In addition for new employees it should be made clear which are the ghost points (if any) on their grade for their role.

For us to have confidence in the ability of the Second Report to meet the terms of the MOU we also need the detail of these arrangements to be confirmed by the General Board and the Council in their reply to this Discussion.

Finally I would like to say that as this is such a major change to the pay structures of all university staff I feel it is vital that Regent House is balloted and this does not simply slip through Regent House on the nod. I urge Council and General Board to call a ballot on this complicated but vital Report.

Professor N. BOYLE:

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I do not wish to comment on the substance of this Report, but only to make a point about procedure. I particularly and warmly welcome the preamble prefixed to his statement by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel. As the University we are entrusted with large sums of public money for the discharge of its charitable purposes, and the Council clearly recognize that it is an uncomfortable position to be deciding, or prospectively deciding, how this money is to be paid to ourselves. Our duties as, in the broad sense, trustees, are in conflict with our personal interests as employees. A Discussion such as the present one may be a proper forum for the ventilation of these matters, but it is difficult to see that the Regent House as currently constituted is a proper body for deciding them. Such an arrangement does not feel right and, more dangerously perhaps, it does not look right. Sooner or later, unless we continue to reform our decision procedures, an issue of this kind will turn into a public relations disaster.

Dr N. J. HOLMES (read by Dr J. A. LITTLE):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, although a member of the Board of Scrutiny and fully in agreement with the remarks which the Board have made collectively, there are some additional points which I now make in a personal capacity.

Let me first echo the Board, this Second Report is a significant step forward. Otherwise I do not intend to repeat the comments of the Board, though I may amplify some. I have a number of questions which I wish to discuss.

How will Professors currently in receipt of supplementary payments be assimilated to the new scale? If I read the Report correctly they will all be in Grade 12 and paid at the spine point equal to or immediately above their existing salary. If that is correct, those in receipt of a level 1 payment will map to Band 1, levels 2 and 3 to Band 2 (though to different points) and level 4 to Band 3. According to this interpretation the only academic staff initially in Band 4 will be the P-V-Cs. Furthermore since the exercise to determine these awards is biennial and the last one was in 2003, there should be one nearing completion, with the next one due in 2007. But does this make sense? The Professors currently receiving a level 4 payment are already determined as being of the very highest international academic distinction so surely they ought to be in Band 4. The logic flows down from there. Is an exercise in fact in progress? Is it too late to ask the committee to consider the proposed new scheme so that our top Professors can be banded in January 2006 rather than wait until late 2007? I would prefer to see a proper exercise at which all were treated equally rather than individuals making their case 'out of cycle'.

Who will determine the movement of Professors within bands, and how often? Annex 7 leaves me a bit unclear about exactly how the progression of Professors within supplementary bands is to be handled. Will someone consider each Professor's annual report to determine if it demonstrates 'evidence of a sustained contribution to the teaching, administration, and research of the University'? If so, who? If consideration is annual and automatic, it seems likely that the majority of Professors will in fact progress as I am confident that most Professors are making such contributions and certainly those who have been distinguished by a supplementary band award should be. If this is so please could it could be made clear? The implications of this are that most Professors will end up on the top of whatever band they are assigned to, which happen to be roughly twice as much above the minimum as the current supplementary levels.

What will it all cost and can we afford it? I have attempted to make a best estimate of the ultimate cost of the proposals. As the Report indicates any estimate must be subject to considerable uncertainty. Nevertheless, it is important for planning that estimates be made. Overall I judge the likely cost to be about £12m on the pay bill in five years' time; I should say that I have used conservative assumptions in the calculations. About £8m comes from 'green-circling' and the lengthening of pay scales, I estimate the probable cost of market supplements at £1.5m and enhanced professorial pay at £2.5m. I am happy to provide a detailed explanation of this estimate to the competent authorities. Some of this cost might be ameliorated as those staff who are 'red-circled' leave, since their posts will presumptively be filled within the service range of the new grade whereas they will be within the contributory points, often at the maximum. Even this hope, however, is subject to the practicality of filling the job at the lower salary. I can foresee the following ironical situation. A CS3 clerical assistant in the Department of Widgets, finding themselves regraded as Grade 1, decides to leave in 2010 after their salary is reduced from £16,062 to £13,377. The Department advertises for a new Grade 1 assistant (salary range £10,560-£13,377) but finds no appointable applicants unless it pays a market supplement to increase the salary to £16,500. Incidentally, in such a case would the base salary be £11,885 (service maximum) or £13,377?

Is this cost affordable? Probably not - compare my estimated £12m cost with the forecast budget surplus of £13.1m for 2008-09, which includes only £5m for the new pay structure. Is it avoidable? In large part also probably not. Perhaps, however, we should be telling the University 'we need this new pay structure and we need to pay our top Professors more, but unless we can increase our income by significantly more than current expectations, we will have to reduce our workforce to generate the operating surpluses we need'.

Have we got the correct grade boundaries? The Report makes the point that the major part of the initial costs will be the result of increases in pay for assistant and academic-related staff. This is hardly surprising since academic staff cannot benefit by more than 3% - with the specific exceptions of a handful of Lecturers at the bottom of the current scale and the half of non-clinical Professors who receive supplementary awards. Fixing the academic scales - and in the case of 85% of academic officers they are rigidly fixed - has an important consequence vis-à-vis academic-related staff of comparable seniority. If I were to make the argument that many University staff are probably currently underpaid, I doubt if many here would disagree. I can call on plenty of evidence from Bett, government white papers, and even the Prime Minister to back up the assertion that this includes academics. However, we have about 1,400 UTOs and 2,000 research staff, though most of the latter are externally supported. It is self evident that it would be very expensive to effect any real increase in their salaries. Nevertheless, just because the number of academic-related staff currently on comparable salaries is much fewer, about 300, would it be right to correct the inequities in their pay if they are found to be being paid less than the 'value' of the job while ignoring the possibly equally valid claims of academics?

Whether it is right or not, it can be argued that that is exactly what we might be about to do. What will determine whether academic-related staff gain, lose or remain the same relative to academic staff is the HERA points boundaries of the top 4 grades. Thus, a critical question here is how the HERA values (points) of non-academic posts are matched with the grades which are fixed for UTOs. Even a mere biologist knows something of sample sizes. As we have some 20 academic-related staff at 'professorial' level, 20 at 'readership' level and about 60 at 'senior-lecturer' level, the question of sampling is an easy one. There is no point sampling the populations because anything less than the whole is inadequate. One needs the whole dataset to tell where the points boundaries between grade 9/10, 10/11, and 11/12 should be; just as has been recognized in the Report for bands within grade 12. The implication of this realization is that we should not agree fixed points boundaries until the evaluation is complete.

I have two more specific questions, which require no explanation.

Will the Council confirm that the new arrangements will continue to require the approval of Regent House for an increase in the salary scale?

Once again I ask, is the scale notionally infinite or is point 92 really the maximum basic salary?

Finally I want to make a point about future process. The Report sets out a timetable which supposes that Graces will be published on 27 July to bring the Report into effect. I am grateful for this openness. I am aware that an argument exists that we cannot run the University in a way that avoids making decisions for x months of the year. However, I am a great believer in the old adage 'legislate in haste and repent at leisure' and although this second Report appeared ten months after its predecessor, there was much haste especially in the last weeks. I have also argued before that nine days is an awfully short time to allow for Regent House to read the central bodies' replies and consider the Graces put forward; this is especially true at a time when many members will be away. This Report is important, it is a major change. I believe that we should start on the process of matching and particularly HERA analysis of all those roles which can already be identified as unique or unusual. We do not need approval of the Report to do that. We do need the data such work will provide to underpin our approval.

My closing exhortation to Council is, by all means publish your response to today's remarks in July if you have had time to consider them carefully but please publish the Graces in Michaelmas Term.


Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am not a member of Regent House, nor have I had a university education. Therefore I feel the need to lay before you my credentials. After a secondary education I served a five-year apprenticeship in precision engineering and instrument making.

My career lead me to nearly twenty years in a British Aerospace Design office, where in 1990, as a design engineer, I resigned. This was due mainly to the introduction of a Hay Grading System. This appeared to go hand in hand with some creative accounting, site closures and job loses. During this period morale on the three sites that I interfaced with was low in the extreme.

Many staff were coerced into severance packages.

In simplistic terms there appeared to be three main groups of employees during this process:

1. Those individuals (and I stress the word individuals) who at a certain age with many years service, and personal circumstances that suited them were happy to oblige.

2. Those individuals who were devastated to loose their jobs, many who had given loyal service and were either too young to retire or getting too old to be sure of finding work outside their field.

3. People like me who had lost all faith in whatever direction British Aerospace was going in, if indeed it had a direction at that time, and were told we could not take a severance package, and that our services would be required, post Hay Grading.

I like many others left British Aerospace anyway.

Eighteen months later I was invited back on contract to help sort out some of the ensuing mess.

I have seen signs of a similar nature during the preparation of this Second Report of the Council and the General Board on a new pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff.

This time, however, I have been involved as a Vice President of ACUA (Association of Cambridge University Assistants), a member of JUNC (Joint Union Negotiating Committee) and a member of the Partnership Working Group on Pay and Grading.

My commitment was cemented after the consultative Report was published in July of last year. The contents of which were seriously flawed.

Many members of the University have spent many hours in total contributing to this Second Report.

I have concerns over the estimate that approximately 7% of roles will be red circled and will principally affect academic-related and assistant staff. This equates to 538 roles out of a total staff of 7,692 (based on data from a 'Snap Shot' of all known University employees in posts at 4 February 2005, see Reporter dated 25 May 2005). This seems a high number if applied to the 2,745 assistant staff and 647 academic-related staff. Perhaps the 7% figure should be revisited.

There will be other issues to resolve (as others here will tell you). Indeed if we think it has been hard going to get this Second Report to this stage I believe implementing it may well be an even bigger challenge.

On balance I do consider that this Report should progress through the University system with a view to implementation.

In conclusion let me add my appreciation for the opportunity to say what I have said.

A warning from my past and a guarded optimism for the future.

Dr J. M. WHITEHEAD (read by Mrs S. BOWRING):

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I wish to comment on only one aspect of this Report, that of discretionary payments. Although discretionary pay has been with us for some time the pay and grading structure proposed in this Report will extend this element in determining pay levels in a number of ways, for example the introduction of 'market supplements'.

A recent survey carried out by the Association of University Teachers, as part of its submission to the Women and Work Commission, found that the gender gap in pay levels in universities continues at much the same level as it was ten years ago; full-time female academics earn on average only 85% of the salary of their male colleagues. One of the main reasons for this is that women are less likely to be promoted and are less likely to be awarded discretionary payments. According to the AUT males are 1.5 times more likely than female colleagues to be awarded discretionary pay; in pre 1992 institutions 46% of lecturing staff are women but only 13% of them are Professors.

I do not know what the figures are for Cambridge because they have not been published. When I raised the issue at a Council meeting I was told that women who apply for promotion are just as likely, or unlikely depending on how you want to look at it, to be promoted as their male colleagues. However, proportionally fewer women than men actually apply for promotion. It is currently not known why this should be the case. One possible explanation for this could be due to gender stereotypes, which despite much progress are still embedded within our culture. We still regard it as perfectly acceptable for men to push for promotion and higher pay by 'blowing their own trumpet' - this is an appropriate indicator of high ambition and leadership qualities. Similar behaviour on the part of women, however, is not so well received and indeed often produces negative comments about them being aggressive and arrogant.

If the University is to go down the route of greater discretionary elements in pay then it seems to me to be very important for this policy to be carefully monitored to ensue that it does not increase the gender gap in pay to the advantage of men, and the disadvantage of women. That 'trumpet blowing' males are not rewarded at the expense of their more diffident, but equally meritorious, female colleagues. I also think the University should be investigating why it is the case that men are much more likely to apply for promotion, and presumably discretionary payments, than women.

Professor Sir RICHARD FRIEND (read by Mrs S. BOWRING):

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I welcome this Second Report and I am glad to see that it has addressed many of the concerns which the Council of the School of the Physical Sciences raised, mostly to do with remuneration of support staff, at the time of the First Report.

Mr M. J. GRAY:

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak today as a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Association of University Teachers (CAUT).

My colleagues have described proposals made to us by the Personnel Division and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Personnel which will enable the reforms contained in this Report to meet the Memorandum of Understanding between AUT and UCEA. I would like to amplify on my Colleagues' remarks in one or two areas, and to provide some reassurances about AUT's position.

Before I do, as a member of CAUT's negotiating team, I would like to add to the record my appreciation of the productive and forthright relationships which have emerged in recent months and weeks. Our talks have often been tough, and sometimes difficult, but are now on a basis which has allowed progress to be made by working together towards acceptable solutions. I particularly welcome Professor Cliff's remarks about the resolution reached with us, though as my colleagues have made clear, these must be finalized and recorded.

Returning to the issues of concern to the AUT, I want to make it clear that by seeking the guarantees contained in the proposals, we are not looking to subvert HERA or to seek special exemptions. We accept that amongst our members and staff on the existing grades we represent, there will be a small number who are currently over-graded and will thus be red-circled, just as there are some who are under-graded and will be green-circled. We not only accept but require that the new grading structure is underpinned and made equitable by a sound application of the HERA role analysis system.

Let me examine in these terms the proposal of 'An expectation that all academic-related staff will be assimilated at new grade 6 or above'. It is not our expectation that this will simply be made so by diktat. Firstly, to stress that this is not a blanket expectation but is an expectation for the majority who are not red-circled. Secondly, we believe that sensible generic role descriptors, which properly encompass the roles of academic-related staff in the lowest existing grades, will when HERA-scored fall into new grade 6 or above. Correspondingly, we expect most benchmark scores of existing staff on those existing grades to fall into or above new grade 6. Work in this area is ongoing but we believe it is vital in order to have confidence about the current and future robustness of the new grades and MoU proposals. The Board of Scrutiny's fifth point and fifth recommendation, given earlier by Professor Spencer, are well made.

Moving on to career development: when I spoke in the Discussion of the Consultative Joint Report on 12 October 2004, I pointed out that the Report was sadly lacking in its response to the sections of the Framework Agreement headed 'Staff Development and Review'. The Report before us today says little more, but I am pleased that we have received assurances that these issues are to be addressed in partnership, with a target date of January 2006. The existing situation for assistant and academic-related staff is unfortunate and unacceptable. If the regrading scheme sits alone, career progression comes down to a combination of individual persistence and the fortune to have a good line-manager and Head of Department. If the University is to attract and retain good assistant and academic-related staff, it needs more than market supplements. Bright and ambitious staff must be able to see a system which ensures that they are developed and that the right opportunities are made available to them. Therefore I look forward to helping the University develop strong proposals in this area.

As CAUT Equal Opportunities Officer, I welcome Joan Whitehead's remarks, and welcome the Report's commitment to Equal Pay Audits.

May I close by repeating and amplifying the statement I made on 12 October 2004. The Cambridge Association of University Teachers, together with our national officers, are willing to work with the Personnel Division to help ensure that the implementation of the Framework Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding in Cambridge is fair to all staff and that it forms the basis for better remuneration and working conditions for all of us. Subject to the assurances we seek today, we think that this second Report is an important step in the right direction.


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as a member of Council I declined to sign the Report and instead added a short note of dissent, promising to elaborate more fully my reasons here in Discussion. I am also currently the elected President of the Cambridge AUT, and it has become clear to me that some members of the administration and also of Council are confused as to whether my actions in signing the note of dissent were simply driven by AUT policy. I can assure you that they were not. There are no reserved places on Council for union representation and when I stood for election to Council in class (c) I made my stance on various issues very clear to the whole electorate of Regent House. Like most other members of Council I have several other roles and interests and more often than not these provide a useful background of experience to bring to bear on Council business. I have made a very thorough declaration of interests in the official University register and am more than happy to provide copies on request. Since this Report is specifically about pay and grading I also declare that I am currently being paid on the top level of the University Lecturer scale.

Other members of the Cambridge AUT are addressing specific issues relating to the grading of academic, academic-related, and research grades and specifically on the Framework Agreement and associated Memorandum of Understanding. I endorse the points they make. I also find myself in agreement with all of the points made by the Board of Scrutiny and Nick Holmes. However I have other issues of dissent that go much further which I would like to put before Regent House.

The Report claims that it is intended to be fair and transparent, and to meet aspirations of 'equal pay for work of equal value'. This is to be achieved using the methodology of job analysis, or more specifically using HERA. Thus the newly proposed grading structure shown in appendix 2 has within it 13 distinct grades, '12 + T' and attached to each of those grades are HERA scores. Staff are to be mapped across to the appropriate grade by using a role matching process, where each role descriptor has a HERA score that matches one of the new grades. However a major problem I have with this whole process is that the Personnel Division have kept the data on current HERA scores attached to current grades and roles a secret from the unions and also from Regent House. Neither have I seen any data in my capacity on Council, and I wonder what level of data has been provided to the General Board or to the Personnel Committee? Without that data I cannot have any confidence that the grade structure given in Appendix 2 will meet the aspirations of the rest of the Report. What is more worrying to me is that the HERA scores were varying from draft to draft of the Report almost as if they were being made up, rather than based on evidence. We were told that the HERA scores obtained by the Personnel Division were regarded as private and confidential and covered by the Data Protection Act. I cannot believe that this is so, since it is a role that is being scored whether or not there is a person in post, and the score is for the job size and does not attempt to measure performance within the role. I specifically ask the Council and the General Board to respond to this point and if they persist with the view that this data is personal and confidential I will seek to have the decision reviewed by the Data Commissioner.

The Report implies that the advice of the statistical laboratory was sought over the HERA database which was used for modelling of the new pay structures. Rather cleverly the wording of that statement does not explicitly say if the advice was followed. As a scientist, and based on the explanations by the Personnel Division of how the University population was sampled for HERA scoring, I was never convinced that the data would be robust or statistically valid. The document from Dr S. P. Brooks of the Statistical laboratory1 confirms my view. As I understand it, that document was not circulated and discussed by any scheduled meetings of the Personnel Committee, the General Board, or finally the Council, yet it has major implications for the validity of any of the outcomes from pay modelling based on the database. Why having sought advice from the Statistical Laboratory was it not followed, who made the decision, and why has the Report and the remarks of Professor Andy Cliff been drafted in such a way to imply that it was followed? Why was this information not circulated to the Council and General Board Committees?

The Report also speaks of greater openness and transparency yet it proposes to remove from publication the remuneration for many staff in new grade 12 that are currently disclosed in the Reporter. I do not think that this retrograde step is appropriate. We are a body in receipt of large amounts of public funds and, particularly for those staff who are in influential positions in grade 12, I believe we should be prepared to disclose what are the individual levels of remuneration. I also would wish to see annual publication of appropriate statistical information of numbers of staff, and the amounts of the awards, for all grades of staff receiving market supplements.

The other matter of concern to me is the way in which the new grades have been arrived at, and also the manner in which the final version of the grades and of the Report were rushed through our senior Committees without appropriate consideration or scrutiny of the details and possible consequences. The key example is that the final Report dated 19 May including a new 13 grade structure was tabled at the Council meeting of 23 May 2005 and replaced a very different version that had been circulated to Council in Circular 16A/05 dated 6 May. I understand that the first time that the General Board saw the new grade structure was when they signed the Report by e-mail circulation on 20 May. The first time that the union negotiators saw a proposal of the new 13 grade structure was in an e-mail of 17 May and in an emergency meeting with Peter Deer on the afternoon of 18 May. However the grade structure of the 17 May was not identical to that tabled on 18 May, as overnight an additional increment had been added to the bottom of one of the grades. Thus 18 May was the first time that the union negotiators had seen the grade structure, and even that was not identical to that as presented by e-mail to the General Board on 20 May and tabled for Council on 23 May. At the Council meeting of 23 May my attempt to discuss details of the grade structure was discouraged and as far as I can ascertain that final grade structure was never considered at a meeting of the Personnel Committee or the Joint Assistant Staff Board prior to publication in the Reporter. As far as I am concerned this is most definitely not a way to decide such an important matter of detail.

Indeed the whole process has been conducted as a series of 'Chinese Whispers'. The Joint Union Negotiators held meetings with Peter Deer and with the Pay and Grading team, but only once met with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor in attendance. A working group of School administrators helped model the pay scales but never met with the union negotiators. The Director of Personnel took matters to the Personnel Committee who made major changes without holding meetings with, or reference to the agreements with or concerns of the union negotiators and despite the unions requesting such a meeting with members of the Committee. The Joint Assistant Staff Board considered other matters but obviously it does not have representation from the AUT on behalf of academic and academic-related staff. Finally the Pro-Vice-Chancellor presented matters to the General Board and to the Council. In this series of relayed drafts and other documents, key messages and concerns became lost or distorted. In addition the Pay and Grading team within Personnel seemed to be under-resourced for most of the time. Only recently have members of the team been moved onto the new Pay and Grading full time. Before that they had other routine work to accomplish. Why did the Registrary not recognize at an earlier time that more commitment of UAS resources was required to complete the work in good time? Although we have recently recruited extra staff within Personnel including appointment at a senior level, key members of the Pay and Grading team have recently resigned their posts and thus now need replacing. This whole process should have been better managed and streamlined and I wonder why the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and the Registrary did not seek to ask permission of Council and General Board to do so?

Given my concerns revealed about the HERA data collection and also the way in which the grade structures were derived and presented to our Committees, I personally do not have the confidence to say whether we have offered Regent House the best solution to the HEFCE requirement for pay restructuring. Certainly our grade structure is very different and more complex than those currently reached at other universities. That is why I could not endorse the Report as a member of Council.



Deputy Vice-Chancellor, first let me declare my interests. I am a Senior Lecturer (who, for reference below, has not applied for promotion this year), and my spouse is the equivalent of a Senior Assistant Registrary. I am also a member of the Board of Scrutiny, agree with the earlier remarks of our Chairman, but speak now in an individual capacity.

Like many other speakers, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to a far better Second Report. Much effort has been expended, particularly on finding an acceptable solution for assistant staff. However, there still is room for improvement, and in the limited time available to me I wish to concentrate on what I perceive as the shortcomings in the Report.

My remarks revolve around three themes: equality, fraternity, and statistics. I'll start with statistics.

The University was under no legal obligation to choose a numerical job evaluation scheme. However, having chosen such a scheme, the University should have ensured that the implementation was statistically respectable. The Report, in my opinion rather misleadingly, notes that the relevant University working group was 'assisted in their work by the Statistical Laboratory which provided advice on acceptable sample sizes and confidence levels'. However as the Chairman of the Board of Scrutiny has observed, the provided advice was not followed: the sample sizes of almost all grades were far too small, with the result that the analysis is flawed.

Some might view a mathematician's preoccupation with numbers as quaint, but let me try and explain two important consequences of this flawed analysis. These might be summarized under affordability and fairness.

First affordability. As has been mentioned by previous speakers, without a good statistical analysis it is difficult, nay almost impossible, to predict the total cost of this Report to the University. It is true that there has been an attempt at an analysis. However, that concentrated for the most part (although not exclusively) on the assistant staff scales, and it is not clear either that the sample was unbiased, or that results for assistant staff extrapolate to academic-related and academic staff. With the University still running a sizeable operating deficit, and with its recovery to a surplus on a knife-edge (based as it is on some rather rosy predictions), a sizeable unbudgeted increase in expenditure would not be welcome and might result in even greater 'savings targets'.

Second, fairness. In its submission on the First Report, the Board of Scrutiny questioned 'whether HERA could adequately justify the current differential pay scales for Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Readers, and Professors'. Council seems to have concluded it cannot, since it is proposed that 'academic staff movement from grade to grade will continue to be determined through the annual senior academic promotions exercise', rather than by HERA points. We therefore have the faintly ludicrous position whereby the University is effectively proposing to run two schemes in parallel. One in which the base salary of non-academic staff is determined using a scheme supposedly designed for Higher Education, and another in which the part of the workforce which is actually unique to Higher Education has its own job evaluation scheme effectively outside HERA.

It seems to me that the University needs to be able to justify in detail how it interleaves these two schemes if it is to be able to defend itself at an employment tribunal, and possibly more importantly if it is to be fair to both groups of staff. The present statistical analysis is inadequate. I emphasize that this justification is more than a statistical nicety. If the HERA points awarded to grades 9-12 are too low or too high, then non-academic or academic staff will be the respective winners. That there may be a problem is illustrated by the few figures available. These suggest that the actual HERA scores of academic staff span a far larger range than the model grades and substantially overlap. Moreover, the admittedly small sample of academic staff suggests that over 40% would be 'green-circled', with less than 10% 'red-circled'. If such figures were typical for non-academic staff then the operating deficit would soar. This is because in the case of non-academic staff there is no cash limit in this regrading exercise (since §4.5 states that 'green-circled staff, whose current pay is lower than pay in the new grade to which they are assigned, will be paid at the bottom of the pay range of their new grade'). If the statistics are wrong the Director of Finance is going to have a nasty shock.

Let me make clear, I am in favour of the two parallel schemes. However, the University needs a detailed justification for the interleaving that will stand up in an employment tribunal. Of course, that is not to say that if as an academic I had far more HERA points than were covered by my current grade I wouldn't be visiting M'Learned Friends in order to check whether the University's disregard of HERA points for regrading/promoting academics was watertight!

The inadequate statistical analysis underlying this Report, and the lack of a rigorous intellectual argument for how the two parallel schemes for academic and non-academic staff will interleave, leave me uneasy, and far from convinced of the equality of treatment of staff. Indeed, on what rational, as opposed to pragmatic, basis are clinical staff excused HERA? Are they not employees of the University and isn't HERA meant to be the University's grading methodology?

There are further issues of equality. As I mentioned above, the non-academic regrading associated with this Report is not cash limited. Consequently, to ensure equality of treatment, will Council lift the cash limit on academic promotions this year? What about future years when there may be cash limits for regrading/promotions. Will there be equality then? Non-academic staff that have sufficient HERA points for regrading, but whose promotion is cash limited, will have some of their responsibilities removed (in order to abide by the equal pay legislation). Will academic members of staff whose promotion is cash limited have some of their duties removed? I suggest some lecturing or examining!

However, while a correct implementation of HERA might provide some semblance of equality, the proposal for market supplements drives a coach and horses through any such aspiration, as evidenced by the difference in pay between genders in the market economy. But it is not just equality that will suffer from market pay, so will fraternity. One of the great benefits of working in this University was, possibly still is, the feeling that almost all of us were working for a common purpose. Yes, there were different grades, and some of us were paid more and some less, but it was not a great deal more or a great deal less. At least in my Faculty promotions and pay were on merit and decided by committee, and not on what a pushy member of staff could leverage from one individual. If the current proposals go through this will be no more. Want more money? Apply for another post, get an offer and then trundle off to the V-C, the Chair of School, or the head of your institution. At present the game is softball, the proposal is to play hardball.

Over time this will result in a redistribution of the salary pot. Until recently the University appeared to believe that the apple pie could be split into three halves (or probably more accurately eleven tenths). The result was predictable: a large operating deficit. If the University approves the current proposals for market pay then there will be winners and losers since I am not convinced that the apple pie will grow sufficiently. The Professor of Widget Science is going to be paid £200,000 (i.e. effectively a 100%+ market supplement), and once he or she is paid that then the Widget Technician is going to want £60,000, and anyone else with Widget conceivably in their title is going to jump on the bandwagon (which is probably why some are pushing so hard for it). If these people are going to be paid vast supplements then there is going to be less for the rest of us.

Let me make it clear, I am not saying that they should not be paid such salaries if the case can be made. Indeed, for the health of the University they may need to be paid such large sums. But it is imperative that the justification for such large sums is provided, otherwise there will be suspicion, and a loss of trust and fraternity when such large salaries leak out (as invariably they will).

The University may need market supplements, but market supplements should be capped, they should be approved by a statutory body rather than one person, and in pursuit of equality they should all be published with justification (similarly for 'payments for other duties'). Indeed, since markets work most efficiently when there is open competition and full disclosure (and are regulated to be so), isn't it self-evident that market supplements should be published?

Indeed, despite the claims to transparency, a key theme of the Report is cloudiness, particularly when it comes to staff that might be expected to earn larger salaries in the University. At present we know the base salaries of all established staff, including those at the top. In future we will not. Indeed, although it is stated that HERA will be used to determine the band on proposed grade 12 for senior non-academic staff, we are not told what the HERA point ranges are for the bands. Indeed, is point 92 with a maximum of £109,100, or the extrapolated point 95 with a maximum £119,217 (as must exist as a consequence of §6.10), really the maximum scale point? I ask this since at least one officer's published salary is £133,650? Is he going to take a pay cut, or is there some magic market supplement, or payment for extra duties, that is going to preserve, or possibly even increase, his salary? Of course if this Report goes through we will never know since his salary will no longer appear in Statues and Ordinances. This does not encourage fraternity, or equality, or trust for that matter.

The University may need highly paid administrators, but they should not be ashamed of their salaries, and if we are going to pay them more than our star Professors, then the University should openly justify such salaries. Why should only academics' base salaries be published? Moreover, in the Discussion two weeks ago, Professor Boyle raised the issue of conflict of interest. His remarks concerned IPR, but are also applicable today. As he put it 'we are being asked to decide how much of a certain pot of money we should use for the public and charitable purposes of the University and how much of it we should pay to ourselves for our private benefit'. Within our current governance set-up, of which I am a fan, this is always going to be an issue. Our defence must be transparency. At the very least we must 'provide for the disclosure of interests so that any possible bias of one's judgement may be assessed by the public'. I see this as a case for the publication of all emoluments of members of the Regent House (not necessarily an onerous task since the University already publishes, even if for limited distribution, the establishments of institutions under the supervision of both the General Board and Council, listing salary points of all officers).

In summary, this Report fails to promote equality or fraternity, and is statistically flawed. As a fix the HERA point scores for each grade and band should not be settled until there is an adequate statistical analysis, and once they are settled, they should be approved by Grace. The base salaries of those in grade 12, and the grades of other staff, should continue to be published. All market payments and payments for additional duties should be approved by a statutory body, and should be published with justification. Council should consider whether the total emoluments of members of the Regent House should be published.

I expect few, if any of these suggestions to be taken up. On the basis of previous conversations I expect to be told that some secrecy is necessary, and we need to trust the central bodies. However, the statistical analysis, and statements about it, were flawed and misleading, and there have been other instances where, to put it charitably, fuller answers could have been given to questions. This does not engender trust. Neither does the fact that it is proposed to publish the Graces on 27 July, i.e. the first week of the school holidays when, not surprisingly, many of us will be away. Why the rush given that the first reference to HERA is in the Reporter of 28 January 1998, i.e. over seven years ago? Since a ballot will almost certainly be called, or an amendment proposed, why not delay publication until the first week of the Michaelmas Term? In essence this will result in a two-week delay, but would allow far more members of the Regent House to read the Council's response on what is the most important piece of legislation in over ten years.


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, it may be regarded as invidious for me to speak in propria persona since I am no longer on the payroll of the University, though as one of the very few here with no interest at all I confess to sharing many of the concerns already expressed today plus others I believe are yet to come. I have been asked to read comments from Dr Robert Hunt.

Dr R. E. HUNT (read by Dr D. R. DE LACEY):

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Report before us describes how the vast majority of posts will be 'matched' to generic role profiles. Paragraph 4.3 states that there are provisions for review and appeal against this matching process. However, readers of the Report might be unaware that the Personnel Division's guidance specifies that academic staff (including all postdoctoral researchers and University Lecturers, for instance) will be excluded from the appeal procedure. If this is a deliberate decision by the Council then it is rather outrageous: its effect will be to exclude entirely one category of staff from the proper arrangements that are open to all other staff. It is also unreasonable for this important information to be buried within a lengthy document that does not even form part of the Report. Can the Council therefore confirm that it does not intend to exclude academic staff from the procedures open to all other staff?

A response that no appeal process is required because academic staff have access to their own promotion procedures and accompanying appeal processes (viz., the Senior Academic Promotions exercise and the Career Management Scheme for contract research staff) would, of course, be unacceptable. Those processes are entirely distinct from the matching process, with quite different criteria, and perform a different function. The role evaluation exercise is intended to produce a HERA score so that an appropriate grade can be assigned; an academic member of staff might well wish to appeal against his or her HERA score without wishing to appeal against the outcome of the academic promotions exercise.

Consider the case of a hypothetical University Lecturer in the Engineering Department. The matching process would presumably match him or her to the Lecturer grade. However, that member of staff might decide to have his or her role independently analysed (perhaps by a renegade member of the Personnel Division, fully HERA-trained, acting in a personal capacity). It is, of course, entirely feasible that the Lecturer might discover that his or her true HERA score is in the range for a Reader rather than that for a Lecturer, because of the extra duties involved in running a laboratory with lots of staff and responsibilities. Can the Council confirm that in this case the member of staff would be assigned to grade 11 in the new salary scales, although without being promoted to a Readership? (That is, the new stipend would be correctly determined by HERA even though the University office occupied would be unaffected.)

Finally, how does the University expect to deal with unusual cases, such as academic members of staff with a unique role? There are several such cases, as illustrated by the recent advertisement for a new Director of the Rural Business Unit.


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am the Cambridge University Branch Secretary of Amicus, speaking on behalf of the recognized unions: Amicus, ACUA, and Unison.

This is an historic occasion. It is the first time in our recollection that representatives of the assistant staff have received a formal invitation to speak at this Discussion. That the invitation comes at this time tells us two very important things. Firstly, that the University has recognized that all staff should have a voice in the decision-making process which sees fundamental changes to pay and terms and conditions for every one of us. Secondly, we recognize that the University Central Administration has begun to embrace the importance and worth of working in partnership with staff representatives. The differences between the First and Second Reports testify the value of this.

Otherwise there are no illusions; we have been asked to this house in the hope (one might say, expectation) that we will commend the second Joint Report to both our members and to the University as a whole. Needless to say, we have our reservations, not so much with the Report, which we regard as a stepping stone for further negotiation, but with the implementation of the job evaluation scheme throughout the University. Once again institutions are being allowed to interpret central guidance in the way that fits them best. Whilst one institution we know is taking the correct approach - all members of staff are being offered PD33 role description training, and supervisors are then being encouraged to go through the description with the role holder to ensure that it is correct - another institution has announced that several hundred role description forms will be completed by just three administrators; the role holders then being asked to sign them as correct. Whilst the second option may seem to be more advantageous in terms of speed, we would warn institutions that failure to allow staff full right and adequate training to allow them to fill in a PD33 correctly will be seen by the Unions as proper grounds for appeal.

In many ways this Report is just the beginning. It rightly states that many negotiations are still to take place. Unresolved matters such as harmonization of terms and conditions of employment, the criteria for the award of contributory points, and the criteria for awards of market supplements remain major concerns.

Staff development is also high on our agenda. The Framework Agreement acknowledges that all staff have a need for a clear and determined career path - once again a subject alluded to but not fully covered in the Report.

The subject of ghosting, mentioned by our colleagues in the AUT, is a relatively new subject to us in the assistant staff unions.

It should be said that whilst we fully support our colleagues in their efforts to fulfil their members' expectations, we cannot and will not accept an agreement in which our members will be assimilated to the same grades, but to a detriment to other members of staff.

It is our expectation, and we have been assured, that these matters will be negotiated in the very near future. For this reason, and in the spirit of partnership and recognizing this Report as the half way step that it is, we will be recommending that our members accept this Report as a step in the right direction.

Mr N. M. MACLAREN (read by Dr M. J. RUTTER):

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, it is regrettable that this Discussion takes place a mere 19 days after the publication of the Report, considering the importance of this matter. In this matter, I fully agree with the note of dissent. While the Report is clearly a considerable improvement, I have seen several serious problems of detail in the short time I have been able to spend reading it and the associated documents. For this reason, I am afraid that my comments will be rather patchy.

Let me start by saying that I agree with the stated intent of this Report, and believe that most of it is compatible with that intent, though the detail and omissions are less good. I have heard that many of the points that I am going to make are already being discussed, and that the currently proposed solutions meet many of my concerns. That is definitely good news, though it is a pity that the Report does not mention which aspects are fluid and what the options are. I shall therefore address the Report as published.

HERA itself is a system clearly designed by administrators; while it is probably unfair to say that it was designed to benefit administrators, that is one of its effects. In particular, it is organized so that a relatively undistinguished general administrative role will score well, but even an exceptional highly specialized and purely technical role will not. This was pointed out by several of the most senior people in the School of the Physical Sciences. A related aspect is that some key requirements for some technical positions do not correspond to any HERA element, such as the ability to adapt to new roles as circumstances require. How will such requirements map to a HERA score, or will they be ignored?

There is still a confusion about whether staff or posts are being graded, which is especially relevant to academic-related staff. I shall not go into details, but many of us have always been told that our jobs are very much what we make them, and have been encouraged to pursue academically respectable and relevant sidelines when we can find time to do so. Perhaps the most extreme example is that of the author of Exim, who saw an important need and created his role largely on his own initiative. The University gains considerably by encouraging such boundary-crossing, and it should not change the rules to discourage it. Fortunately, it seems that a reasonably pragmatic approach is being taken, which is both necessary to avoid detrimental changes to conditions of employment and to maintain flexibility.

A more common example, taken from life, shows why grading should be by the role that the person is performing and not the post. The example is of Computer Officers, but it applies to other categories as well. Two small sub-departments each have a grade 6 (new scale) post for a Computer Officer to manage a similar collection of systems. In one case, the Computer Officer does just the specified actions, and the head of the sub-department or his deputy has to spend the best part of a day of a week dealing with planning, budgeting, disciplinary matters, induction and so on. In the other case, the Computer Officer is of higher calibre, does most of those, and the head of the sub-department just asks to be kept informed. Now, the first person is performing a role that is solidly grade 6, but the latter is doing one that is at least grade 8, though the posts are identical.

Note that the head of the sub-department or his deputy will be paid far more for the time they spend doing the same duties as a grade 6 Computer Officer, and usually more than a grade 8 one. Small discrepancies can be taken up by the contributory points, but this example is of a grade 6 post but with the person's actual role scoring perhaps 390 on HERA (i.e. grade 8). Some departments will bend the rules to promote the Computer Officer to the grade corresponding to the role he is performing and others will leave him on the grade 6 of the post, and the difference is clearly unlawful discrimination. This is made more likely by sections 9.V, Annex 10.D, 10.E.5(d) and 10.E.6, which continue to extend the policy of subdivision by institution over the conditions of employment of academic-related and assistant staff - this inconsistency is precisely the converse of the intent of this exercise!

Section 4.13 misses the point here. The action should not be to change the grading of the post, or force the person to change job, but to match the person's grading to the role that the person is actually performing. In the above example, the more able Computer Officer might leave, and the only available replacement might be a less able one, or vice versa. Yes, there are some holders of grade 8 posts doing a grade 6 job, unfortunately. As everyone who has tried to fill the more specialized computing positions in the University knows, it is flatly impossible to write a precise job description and expect to be able to match it. The only practical solution is to write a general description and to match the grading to the person's actual role. Section 5.4 and Figure 1 need to be changed to accept that the current regrading mechanisms need to be more flexible, and to allow ad hominem promotions for all staff to the level of the role that they are actually performing. Allowing this is, after all, only natural justice - and is current practice in many Departments.

When we move onto how the scheme will be administered, things become much less clear. It starts with HERA's worst fault, its obsessive secrecy, combined with the fact that Cambridge's local guidelines are so far only skeletal. HERA has a complex scoring methodology, but this is intended to be disclosed only to those who administer HERA and not to its subjects. The potential for confusion is compounded by the fact that the PD33 forms have a different structure to HERA, which will cause another layer of interpretation, again using unspecified criteria. There is also the obvious point that staff who have access to the HERA documentation have an advantage in filling their PD33s in relative to those who do not, which is discriminatory. Exactly how this secrecy can be claimed to enable 'greater transparency about criteria, processes, and outcomes in relation to pay and grading' as stated to be fundamental in section 6.12 is beyond me, and it seems unlikely that it would not be disclosable if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

This extends further. Traditionally, everyone's grades have been visible to all, but I can see no reference in this Report to a statement that complete information on the correspondence between role descriptions and HERA ratings will be published. I sincerely hope that it is not intended to keep this hidden, as it is essential that information on all roles and their ratings is available to all staff, if they are to be able to check that they are being fairly treated by comparison with other people. It would be most unfortunate if, in order to do such a comparison, they needed to invoke the Freedom of Information Act or, worse, demand disclosure as part of a court case. Arising from that, I looked in this Report to references to an appeal mechanism, and could find only a reference to a file in some rather broken formats!

The matching panels described in that document work solely within Schools, possibly even within institutions with some School-level overview. It is unclear whether staff will even be told the detailed reasons for their classification unless they go to appeal, and the role of the Appeal Panel is stated explicitly not to include scoring the appellant's role. This will not do. Given the problems that I mention above, there are a significant number of staff who are likely to feel that the analysis of their PD33s and the scoring of their HERA ratings has undervalued them because the 'trained analysts' (who clearly cannot be specialists in everything) have misunderstood the complexities of the role. At the very least, there needs to be a way for them to compare their own PD33s and HERA ratings with others, and a demonstrably fair and consistent mechanism to appeal against the analysis as well as the decisions. Without either, what option does someone who believes that he has been unfairly treated by the analysis have but to invoke Statute U or the courts?

In summary, this Report has the potential to be a basis for a fair, consistent, and effective scheme, but it also has the potential to fail on all of those aspects. It will depend on whether problems like the above are corrected, how well its omissions are filled in, and on the flexibility and good will of its implementors. Given recent history, I am not optimistic that success will happen automatically, but the improvement between this Report and the last encourages me to believe that it may do so eventually. It is definitely progress, but there is still a long way to go.


Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I am pleased to see that this Report continues to improve. However, I regret to say that it has still some distance to go, and here I dwell on the shortcomings.

With any scheme like this, the detail can be as important as the broad structure, and detail is lacking in the current proposals. This coupled with some dubious logic, gives me some cause for concern. The dubious logic starts with implicit arguments that Regent House must abide by a tight timetable and with a structure already agreed between the University, HEFCE, and the trade unions. It continues with the idea that what is suitable for other Russell Group universities is clearly suitable for us too.

The emphasis on an analytical grading of the post, not the person, continues to alarm me. I fear this will create as many anomalies as it solves, but as we have access to neither the HERA grading criteria nor yet to the role descriptors and role profiles, it is hard to tell.

My concern is that it judges where responsibilities lie on paper, but not where they are actually discharged. Having worked closely with four different Departments in the University, I have observed that there are plenty of empire-builders who, fuelled solely by egotism, take on many more responsibilities than they could, or do, discharge satisfactorily. One would not wish to encourage such behaviour with financial rewards too.

It would also appear to work against flexible team working. A team where different responsibilities are rigidly divided up amongst different members is much less flexible than one in which all can do all tasks, and vary their roles according to day-to-day circumstances. I once enjoyed being a member of the second sort of team, and on asking my line manager for a job description, received the reply 'to be useful.' I wonder how many HERA points that would have scored? Indeed, in that post in some formal sense I had no responsibilities: they all stopped with the person who led the team. Perhaps, then, I did not deserve a salary at all.

Without sight of the details, I wonder too whether the scheme will favour another, and opposite, common abuse in this University. If a particular responsibility, which must ultimately lie with the Head of Department, as he is responsible for everything within a Department, is delegated to a Deputy Head of Department, then to a Head of Group, then to an academic within that Group, then to the Group's secretary, thence to a senior technician, and then to the person who actually does the job, can everyone in the chain claim their HERA points? Such very long chains have the advantage that true responsibility is found nowhere, and is merely passed up and down for ever. What happens if responsibility passes via a committee? Do even more people pick up points?

The strong emphasis on improving the salaries of our top Professors I find disconcerting. We can never compete with the best-funded US Schools on these terms; we might hope to compete by offering a better working environment. This will be hard to achieve if we cannot recruit and retain specialist technical staff - Professors are unlikely to enjoy filling in for such posts. Whereas the generous 'red circling' protects current incumbants, it will evaporate should the post become vacated.

My final point this afternoon is to comment again on the ratchet-like promotions procedure. There are many in the University whose current seniority is based on the outstanding contribution they made a couple of decades ago. In some cases their current contribution has slipped considerably. If we really want to demonstrate that we are providing equal pay for equal work, it would seem that a demotions procedure must exist. This would be a very tricky area: the promotions procedure relies mainly on the individual candidate applying for promotion. I doubt that that would work for demotions.

I hope that Council will call for a ballot on a reform this significant itself. Such a major reform, directly affecting all employees, needs to be seen to have the support of the Regent House. Before that support is given, I would recommend that we ask for more details. The current, much-improved, proposal still has a slight air of a pig in a poke, and there is much bacon at stake.

Mr V. R. WOODLEY (read by Mr D. J. GOODE):

Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, at a recent meeting to explain the pay and re-grading process I seem to remember that we were told that it was impossible to guarantee that there would be no 'red circling' because the entire re-grading process was designed to be fair, transparent, and based upon equality in order to uphold the principle of 'equal pay for work of equal value' and demonstrate the absence of discrimination. It comes as something of a shock to read in point 9. IV of the Second Report that (subject to the approval of Recommendations I and II) the stipends for the offices of Professor, Reader, University Senior Lecturer, and University Lecturer will be pre-determined by current grades. In other words ' ... a simple read-across from current grades to grades in the new structure ...' DOES apply to these members of staff, but not to other University staff.

I'm sure that it is very reassuring for these groups of staff to be offered a guaranteed new grade and associated pay increase, but this certainly doesn't seem to deliver the 'common grading methodology for determining the grades of University staff' that has been proclaimed as a goal of the re-grading process. All our current roles have been through some sort of grading process at some point, so why is it considered that this is sufficient for determining the new grades of the Professors, Readers, University Senior Lecturers, and University Lecturers - but not other staff? Whilst the duties of University Teaching Officers may indeed prove to be similar, surely the completion and evaluation of an equivalent to the PD33 'Role description form for academic-related and assistant staff' will demonstratively show this in an open and fair manner.

The Second Report's point 6.12 states: 'It is fundamental to the reforms proposed in this Report that, for all groups of staff, there should be greater transparency of criteria, processes, and outcomes in the arrangements for pay and grading so that they are seen to be open and fair.' I agree and urge the members of the Regent House to demonstrate that there is a fundamental requirement for such an open and fair system for ALL groups of University staff.

Dr A. KALETZKY (read by Mr D. J. GOODE):

Mr deputy Vice Chancellor, I make my remarks today as a member of the Executive of the Cambridge AUT.

The University should be congratulated for involving the trade unions including the AUT in the development of this Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a new pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff.

The Report alludes to the Framework Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding which formed the basis of AUT's suspension of industrial action. However, at this point, despite some references in footnotes to the framework and MOU, the Report does not appear to be explicitly in compliance with the framework and MOU. In my view, this discrepancy must be corrected before the contents of the Report are converted into Graces and approved. These changes would make the contents of the Report an acceptable while still not an optimal solution.

I am also very concerned by the lack of transparency which may result from the apparent position of the Personnel Division holding that HERA role-scoring raw data are confidential and not available for public release. I must point out that these data relate to roles and possible job descriptions and not to the people filling these jobs and their performance in them - if this statement were untrue, the basic principles of job evaluation, HERA and role scoring would be contradicted.

Given the importance of these issues to all members of the University, I believe that it is necessary for the whole membership of Regent House to be balloted on any Graces resulting from this Report, and request the Council to initiate such a ballot at an appropriate time.


Mr deputy Vice-Chancellor, I speak today as a member of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge Association of University Teachers (the Cambridge AUT).

The proposals in the Second Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a new pay and grading structure for non-clinical staff are wide-ranging, making a number of fundamental changes to the existing pay and grading structure.

The Executive Committee of Cambridge AUT offers a cautious, conditional welcome to this Report, and several of my colleagues have already spoken of what more needs to be done in order to make the Report acceptable without condition.

It is our hope that the Council and the General Board give serious consideration to all that the Executive Committee of the Cambridge AUT has said today, and we look forward to a favourable response that goes at least so far as to meet all of our concerns, if not further, and to which we may then give unconditional support, and commend to our members.

It is the opinion of the Executive Committee of the Cambridge AUT that proposals as fundamental as those contained in this Report must be put to the Regent House in a ballot, to ensure the proposals have the active support of a majority of the Regent House, or at least a majority of those members of the Regent House who return their ballot paper, rather than the considerably less prestigious pedigree of a Grace or Graces published during a Long Vacation, with only the silence of those members of the Regent House left in Cambridge at the height of summer to give it any sort of apparent legitimacy.

I therefore call upon the Council to avail itself of the power vested in it by Ordinance to determine that a vote be taken by ballot on any Grace or Graces resulting from this Report, Discussion, and the Council and General Board's response, and that it publishes notice of the ballot or ballots in the Reporter at the time the Grace or Graces are submitted1.

1 Statutes and Ordinances, 2004 edition, p. 106, section 7.