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Newsletter December -23

After an intense autumn, you as a member will soon have a much-needed Christmas break, but before that we want to try to summarize the autumn's work within the Saco-S association at Linnaeus University and to some extent also look forward to the coming spring.

As we mentioned in the previous newsletter, the Saco association had the usual annual meeting at the beginning of October in the form of a hybrid meeting, where our contact ombudsman Michael Svedemar also participated on site in Växjö. In addition to the usual annual meeting negotiations where, among other things, the annual report was approved and a new board was elected, the meeting was followed by a discussion on various union issues. You can access the minutes of the annual meeting via the link below (in Swedish).

Annual meeting 23-10-04

In the "Newsletter June -23" we wrote about a dispute we had with the employer regarding violations of the local working time agreement for teachers regarding deficiencies in consultation when establishing service planning (consultation with the teacher must take place both when establishing service plans and when amending them, which unfortunately lacking in several institutions), establishment of duty plans on a calendar year basis (the majority of institutions initially only planned for the year 2023 for the first half of the year) and documentation of duty planning (duty plans must be documented and followed up and then established duty plans must be archived for reference, which after Retendo's introduction usually has not been done). In order to resolve the dispute, the parties agreed on the following work:

  • To, in the short term, i.e. from the autumn term onwards, ensure that the duty planning is communicated between the manager and employees, as well as begin the work of developing routines for consultation when drawing up duty plans as well as when revising duty plans during the calendar year. The work to develop the routines must be done jointly by the parties and be completed by 231031 at the latest. After that, training opportunities regarding routines and interpretations of the working time agreement must be carried out for all departments and service planners jointly by the parties.
  • In the longer term, i.e. within two years, to ensure that training as described above is a natural element of the management training that is continuously offered.

Regarding the first point above, in collaboration with the employer, we have developed and compiled a routine for department heads and service planners, which you can reach via the link below (in Swedish).

Routine for duty planning and consultation

Hopefully, these guidelines can contribute to service planning working better and becoming clearer for you as a member. It is worth noting that it is always the head of department who has the main responsibility for your service planning, even if the service plan is usually drawn up by the person who plans service at your institution. In the next step linked to this dispute, we have just started work with the employer with the aim of jointly developing a training aimed at managers and for those who work with service planning. In the next step, training for managers and service planners should contribute to increased insight and transparency regarding service planning so that it can be better for you as a member. In the work to produce a training, a negotiation on possible revision of the local working time agreement will also be initiated. During the autumn, there have been minor changes in the central working time agreement which we will agree on in the spring, to see if in any respect changes need to be made to our local agreement in line with these changes. Current working time agreements are a few years old - and a couple of years ago minor changes were made regarding teachers' administrative time. Unfortunately, we cannot see that this has more than marginally contributed to members receiving more administrative time in their service plans. Instead, the picture in a longer time perspective is that more and more tasks seem to be included in the annual working time. We are therefore happy to receive comments on things that you don't think work or that are difficult to interpret in the local working time agreement for teachers. Below is a link to the current working hours agreement for teachers (in Swedish):

Local working time agreement for teachers

As far as the trade unions are concerned, our view is that the problem raised in connection with the said dispute has affected several of our members. Another problem is that we perceive that more and more tasks are added to what must be performed in the existing annual working time. A third problem concerns imbalances in service planning - where we have examples of tasks being entered in a way that makes it difficult for us as a trade union party to see if it complies with the Working Hours Act when it comes to, for example, rules on 24-hour and weekly rest. A fourth problem is that we see examples where service planning does not sufficiently take into account teachers' competence, i.e. the match between staffing and the focus on subject knowledge has shortcomings.

During the autumn, work on the university's salary survey was carried out, where unreasonable salary differences between women and men have been in focus. At the time of writing, that work has not been completed. So far, the employer and representatives of the trade unions have gone through differences in pay within groups of employees with similar tasks and we are now going through differences in pay between groups that have equivalent tasks. This year, the work has taken place with the participation of an investigator from the university management's office, which has contributed to increased conditions to continue working with in-depth analyzes within and between groups where it is difficult to understand the wage differences that exist between women and men. Possibly this work will be ready by the end of the year, but it is more likely that an equal treatment plan can be drawn up at the beginning of next year. Tasks will be given to carry out deeper analyzes of certain groups as support for upcoming salary audits and salary mapping. Our previous newsletter was largely about the salary revision which will retroactively take effect from 2023-10-01 and in relation to existing salary criteria will be based on achievements and responsibilities during the period 2022-04-01 – 2023-09-30. In recent weeks, several of our members have contacted us about the issue of salary and salary setting. When the salary setting process is completed, we will, as usual, send out an evaluation survey which we hope as many people as possible will answer as it gives us a basis for future salary negotiations. Unfortunately, direct negotiations with the employer regarding new salaries for doctoral students and assistants (the so-called doctoral ladder) that expire at the turn of the year 2023/2024 have not started yet, so far we have mainly held discussions with the other trade unions in order to unite in our perception. However, negotiations with the employer about a new agreement need to start immediately after the weekends.

During the year, we in the Saco-S association have in various ways raised issues related to what we perceive as shortcomings in the employer's way of leading and managing its organization. In recent years, the employer has chosen to establish section managers, mainly within the central administration. However, this has taken place without the section managers' mandates being regulated in a delegation order. From our starting points, it is important that you as a member know who is the manager and with what mandate he can act. Therefore, in several MBL negotiations, we have demanded that delegation arrangements be made clear before a reorganization takes place in order to contribute to the clarity of future section managers' mandates in the organization. When it comes to the decisions that the employer makes about function managers, we have on several occasions made sure that it becomes clear that they have no personnel and work environment responsibility - but that responsibility rests with the manager of the unit in question. In some cases, there has also been uncertainty about whether various forms of deputy managers have personnel responsibilities. Based on our starting points, this constitutes an exception and in that case also needs to be regulated in the delegation arrangements established by the university.

Results from the latest work environment survey, as before, show that the workload is perceived as high at the university, this applies to the majority, but not all departments, and also some additional departments/units. In addition, the results also point to the fact that the distance between the top management and those who work outside the business is perceived as large.

Regarding issues related to workload and working conditions, we have so far received a budget proposal for 2024 presented. A basis that can be determined by the university board in February. After all, there have generally been significant cost increases in society that affect and will continue to affect the universities' operations, where increasing grants are not on par with these cost increases. From what we understand, significant demands for cost reductions have been made within the organization - which has resulted in a relatively modest budget deficit being presented at university level at the moment. Over time, however, it has usually been the case that the financial outcome for the higher education institution has been better than budgeted - so from the trade union side we have expressed a concern that the savings in the budget proposal are probably greater than necessary, with an even greater workload as a result.

In the spring of 2024, we in the Saco-S association expect to hold a number of member meetings - preferably at faculty and unit/department level, and to enable our members to be able to participate in a digital lecture series on current trade union issues that is carried out centrally by SULF and is at lunchtime (12.00-13.30). Below is a program with links to these meetings:

15 januari 2024: Are you new in Sweden? (English)

30 januari 2024: Dialogseminarium om etikprövning (Swedish)

2 februari 2024: Postdok – in Sweden and abroad (English)

12 mars 2024: Pension – finns det ett liv efter jobbet? (Swedish)

10 april 2024: Att vara doktorand - doktorandernas villkor och rättigheter (Swedish)

15 maj 2023: Anställnings- och kollektivavtalsförmåner (Swedish)

Within the Saco-S association, during the autumn we have just decided to set up a number of working groups in order to distribute tasks in a better way within the board and to be able to get a better focus in various union-related areas. The following working groups have been established:

Working group salary and salary mapping: Karina Petersson (convener), Gunilla Gunnarsson, Sofie Tornhill, Jan Andersson and Stefan Lindkvist Gómez.

Working group working time agreement for teachers: Eva Pohl (convener), Jan Andersson, Magnus Mårtensson and Karina Petersson

Working group working time agreement for TA staff: Stefan Lindkvist Gómez (convener), Jan Andersson and Nina Andersson Junkka

Working group member activities/member recruitment: Gunilla Gunnarsson (convener), Nina Andersson Junkka, Anders Nordborg, Jan Andersson and Magnus Mårtensson

Together with other trade unions, the Saco-S association has during the autumn, in addition to consultation with the various faculties and the weekly MBL negotiations, also participated in managerial recruitment and then mainly through interviews with relevant candidates.

As before, the Saco-S association has also represented individual members on various union issues on several occasions during the autumn. If you want support in any trade union issue in any context or have questions and concerns, you are always welcome to contact us. Via the link below you can reach contact details and division of responsibilities within the board.

https://www.saco.se/en/trustee/local-union-work/local-unions/government-sector/saco-s-foreningen-vid-linneuniversitetet/kontakt/

We also gratefully accept suggestions and opinions on what Saco-S can/should work on further.

With this, we hope that everyone will enjoy a well-deserved break during the upcoming holidays.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wishing you the best from the board of the Saco-S Association at Linnaeus University,

by

Jan Andersson and Gunilla Gunnarsson (Chair and Vice Chair respectively)

Published: 2024-03-11

Updated: 2024-03-11

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