Students’ Union transfers staff to University

IT HAS BEEN announced, following a meeting of the Students’ Union Board of Trustees, that several members of Students’ Union staff are to be transferred to the University.

Students were informed of the decision at the Student Assembly held on 8th November by Ben Meakin, Students’ Union President and Chair of the Board of Trustees. Meakin reported that, pending approval from the University, three members of Building Services staff and some Finance staff will be transferred. Although the Students’ Union building is already owned by the University, this means that the day-to-day maintenance of the building will be now be the responsibility of the University.

In a statement to The Courier, Meakin said “The TUPE transfer of building services staff from the Union to the University is part of an ongoing process to stabilise the Union’s finances and make sure that the services remain at the best quality. The service level agreement that forms the base of this transfer has been written by us in the Union and makes sure that no services are lost with the transfer. We are confident that Building Services will remain within the Union but the team will be managed and paid for by the University with the Union reviewing on a monthly basis. The TUPE process itself gives the staff members involved a level of security as it does not allow their positions to be removed or changed in any way for a period of time.”

Meakin has since told The Courier that “the decision has been made that the transferring the finance staff was not feasible”. It is not clear when students will be told of this decision.

Following the redundancy of the Building Services Manager in June 2010 and the departure of the Membership Services Manager in November 2012, it is unclear who will be managing the Building Services staff, who are in turn responsible for managing the student cleaners employed by the Students’ Union.

It is estimated that the transfer will save the Union £29,000 in staff costs up to June. As previously reported in The Courier, the Union has a predicted shortfall between costs and income of £150,000 for the 2012/13 year.

As nobody ran for the position of Undergraduate Student Trustee in the recent Students’ Union elections, there was no undergraduate student present in the Board meeting where the transfer was discussed. Minutes for the meeting are yet to be made available to the student body.

This article was originally published in the November issue of The Courier.