SIPTU UCD have recently expressed their dissatisfaction regarding an e-mail being sent out to over one hundred UCD staff members on December 16th asking them to review the performance of a number of named staff in Registry via an online survey.
A UCD spokesperson stated that the survey was not part of a performance management exercise, but a “routine customer survey supporting the ongoing development of the services provided by the Programme and School Liaison Team.”
SIPTU Representative for Registry, Simon Williams, did not agree with this statement, believing the survey was “essentially a review of staff performance.”
The agreed procedure for reviews of staff performance is through the Performance Management Development System (PMDS). Williams stated, “this survey was outside of that system … that’s our view of it.”
SIPTU had previously agreed the PMDS system of staff review with University Management. As it is the only agreed system of staff review, Williams explained that “[SIPTU] found this unacceptable, that essentially an arbitrary decision was made by management to review staff performance in ways they decided as appropriate and this was outside the agreement that was in place with the University and SIPTU.”
According to an e-mail sent out by the UCD SIPTU Section Committee to UCD members of the union, UCD HR is currently attempting to implement a plan that would link future increments to the outcome of performance reviews. SIPTU maintain “this kind of survey could set a dangerous precedent for future, arbitrary, management decisions, regarding reviews of staff performance.”
In relation to this plan, Williams stated that “[SIPTU] would be particularly concerned about this instance because if management in the University decided that they can review staff performance in any way they want … that could be very worrying because staff performance could be linked to increments in the future.”
Williams further went on to say that “if the University wants to encourage productivity among staff, the way to do that is to give staff confidence that management respect agreements between SIPTU and the University … This type of thing could potentially undermine that.”
SIPTU urged those who received the e-mail not to complete the survey.