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New threat to jobs at Aston

Aston UCU is outraged that ABS appears to have initiated a `rank and yank' policy. All members of academic staff have been invited to attend a meeting with the Dean or Deputy Dean, and in some of these meetings they are being asked to consider leaving.

ABS has deemed them as under-performing, but none of the cases we have dealt with so far have been staff who have had performance management meetings. This means the evidence that ABS is claiming about their under-performance has not been subjected to scrutiny nor have they had the opportunity to defend themselves against the accusations.

Whilst members of staff cannot be forced to leave, they are being told that the alternative is performance management. This is a total abuse of the performance management procedure. It should only ever be implemented if discussions have previously taken place with employees about their performance and they have been given a chance to improve, assuming it has been shown that some under-performance has been happening. ABS are using it as a weapon to drive people out and this is completely unacceptable.

Aston UCU does not support this practice and are offering advice and support to all members affected. We believe that no member of staff should be subjected to kangaroo courts and if Aston is concerned about the performance of staff, it should follow the policies and procedures of the University in investigating and dealing with any issues. Whilst currently this is only reported to be taking place in ABS, we have concerns that it may spread to other areas of the University.

If members in any area are asked to comment on the performance of colleagues, we recommend that they ascertain how this information will be used. If this is not within an agreed process, or you have any concerns, please contact UCU.We need to ensure that management understand that we will not accept this as a routine process, and will be calling on members for strong action against management if this process continues.

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