As many staff are aware, the Vice-Chancellor has commissioned a pay and conditions report at the University of Oxford. I was delighted to take on the role of Chair of the Pay and Conditions Committee; it’s an important activity for our community and I am glad I can contribute.
I know the University well and, like the Vice Chancellor, want to see it flourish in the future, continue to attract the best academics and to be a place where all staff are able to enjoy and grow through their work, and benefit from the whole environment. Now Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy, Emeritus, my background at Oxford also includes time as an undergraduate, a junior research fellow, founder of an MRC genomics unit and head of department. I have been a member of the Medical Sciences Division since it was founded. I currently run a small group collaborating with Professor Russell in Chemistry. Therefore, I am very familiar with the challenges we face, including the challenges for researchers on fixed-term contracts, and the present financial and political context, and how that exacerbates issues internally. Oxford is a special place to be, with many benefits of being part of this community, but it is expensive to be here.
The first meeting of the committee was on 19 June. The team supporting the review is doing a lot of work behind the scenes on establishing benchmarking data and more; we expect a busy summer. The scope of the review is very broad, and it’s clear to the committee that we should prioritise activity in order to get good data in key areas to make recommendations. We will have a draft report ready in Michaelmas term, with a town hall meeting planned for staff in October.
As you'll see from the membership of the group, we've tried to bring in people with different skill sets from different areas of community to steer the activity. We are keen to have both quantitative benchmarks and also qualitative information to inform the review. To gather qualitative data (your views and experiences), alongside the town hall meeting there will be a number of focus groups and interviews happening in September and October.
Our aim is to be as transparent as possible and we will publish notes and papers from each meeting on the pay and conditions webpages, where we will also provide updates on the plans for engagement events, and where there is the ability to ask a question or get involved in other ways.
Opportunities to get involved with the Pay & Conditions Report
The pay and conditions committee aims to involve staff in its work. Staff focus groups will take place in September and October. Find out more and nominate yourself to join a focus group.
In October, a town hall event will be open to all staff to share progress on the pay and conditions work to date. Further information will be shared in future editions of University Bulletin.