Master’s Letter to UUK

Thursday, 15 March, 2018 - 10:15
Fitzwilliam College logo

Further to Monday’s announcement, the Master sent the following letter to UUK today:

Mr Alistair Jarvis

Chief Executive, Universities UK

Woburn House

20 Tavistock Square

London WC1H 9HQ                                                                                                                                    15 March 2018

Dear Mr Jarvis

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge was not in a position to respond to your request of 12 March 2018, by the deadline of 2pm on 14 March.  Neither the College Committee nor the Governing Body could meet in that time-frame.

Whilst this College welcomes any proposals that are designed to promote constructive dialogue with all parties, we are presented with the same difficulty as with the controversial September survey.  The time and information you have provided is insufficient for our Governing Body to make a reasoned consideration of the new proposals. As your email acknowledges, the simple question of whether we endorse the current proposal is not, actually, a simple question. The new proposal contains many different elements, and it is entirely consistent for some employers to agree with parts of the proposal, but have reservations about, or disagreements with, other parts. The binary choice that has been offered in the survey does not seem to recognise this, and offers an all-or-nothing option.

We are, of course, well aware of the vital importance of salaries and pensions in attracting and retaining the best academic staff. We are therefore committed to finding a solution which ensures attractive and sustainable pension provision, and are encouraged by the latest statement (of 14 March) from the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

I also point out that we are currently not a party to the strike action.

It is also relevant to say that we await with interest your answers to the requests of some of my colleagues, Heads of other Cambridge Colleges, who have asked for clarification on how the responses to the September survey were analysed. For example:

1. How were the responses from different institutions weighted? Was the weight based on numbers of employees and pensioners, University financial position, or some other set of criteria?

2. How were non-authorised responses weighted compared with those for which there had been full consultation?

3. What weight was given to replies from non UUK institutions (such as Oxbridge Colleges) compared with those from UUK employers?

Yours sincerely

Nicola Padfield


Related Documents

The full response to the survey is available here:

Fitzwilliam College Response to UUK survey - September 2017