On Monday 18th September representatives of the Cambridge UCU Justice 4 College Supervisors (J4CS) campaign met with representatives of the Colleges, University, and the Office for Intercollegiate Services (OIS).
Present at that meeting:
Max Long (Research Fellow, Jesus College), Lydia Richards (UCU regional official), Matthew Lloyd Roberts (UCU Postgraduate Rep), Emily Sandford (UCU Casualisation Rep).
Colleges, University and OIS:
Richard Anthony (Incoming Chair, Bursars’ Committee), Judith Bunbury (Associate Secretary, Senior Tutors’ Committee), Malcolm Millbrook (Deputy Head of OIS), Lesley Thompson (Outgoing Chair, Bursars’ Committee), Bhaskar Vira (Pro VC for education).
Both sides acknowledged the recent regrettable delay in meetings, which followed the campaign’s unexpected call for a Boycott of Undergraduate Supervisions (BUS) in July 2023. They also welcomed the constructive spirit in which both sides had resumed discussions.
All parties agreed on the desirability of a resolution that might lead to a withdrawal of the call for a BUS.
UCU representatives welcomed the programme of work proposed by the OIS for the upcoming year to address the matters raised by the JFCS campaign. Further detail will be required on particular points.
UCU representatives made it clear that without the prospect of a significant and material offer on pay implemented during the forthcoming academic year, it was extremely unlikely that boycotters would vote to withdraw the BUS. The status of the boycott will be decided by the democratic mechanisms of the campaign and branch, dependent upon ongoing discussions.
College representatives reiterated that they did not have the mandate to negotiate on behalf of the 29 Colleges. This was due to the significant governance and practical issues involved in reaching consensus across Colleges, particularly outside of term and after difficult budgets for 23/24 had already been set. However, College representatives outlined the process by which a formal agreement to increase supervisors’ rate of pay for the forthcoming academic year could be achieved, which included the matter being discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the Bursars’ Business Committee next week.
Both sides committed to a schedule of regular meetings for the forthcoming academic year to discuss the programme of work. UCU representatives agreed to provide feedback on the programme of work proposed by the OIS, in order to co-create the agenda for future meetings.
2023.09.18 joint statement
> Download the statement as a pdf