SHW suggestions, comments and questions box

You said we did

Photo of a noticeboard of post it notes

2022

Nov 2022 You said 
It's disappointing to see that the uni will not be proceeding with rewarding contribution arrangements this year, and that this has been linked to the "exceptional nature" of pay increases. Morale and energy levels have probably never been lower, and this is unlikely to help. Pay increases are to help the whole workforce manage cost of living rises, irrespective of performance. Rewarding contribution awards are a different matter entirely, and it seems odd to link the two. With or without an award, many SHW colleagues will continue to show commitment & dedication, and to do all they can to make our workplace run more smoothly and be a supportive, inclusive environment. They deserve better than what seems to me a tone-deaf decision to take away the facility, in this incredibly challenging year, to show them what this means to individuals, teams and our school. I hope SHW might be willing to feed back on this matter to UofG senior management and show solidarity with staff who give everything to their role and to the school.
We did 
Response pending
Nov 2022 You said
My question relates to moving over to the new building, and not being able to take our desktop computers. As I understand it, only people who applied for a specific exemption to the policy are able to retain their desktop computers, requiring a good reason as to why they could not bring their laptops in daily. I am personally more productive using a desktop PC. Often I need to run models on the desktop PC and simultaneously continue work on my laptop. Further, I cycle in to work, and when it is raining, there is a high risk of the laptop being damaged. My question is, why is the reason of "wanting to be as productive as possible" not enough of a good reason to keep my desktop computer?
We did
Response pending
Oct 2022 You said
I see that exhibition area in the Clarice Pears building will have a device to measure grip strength. I am concerned about encouraging a physiological measurement without professional guidance. While the equipment may seem a piece of puerile fun aimed at children, the measurement could nevertheless cause distress among others. If someone wishes to measure their grip strength or has concerns about their grip strength then they should consult a medical professional such as their general practitioner.I am also concerned about personal privacy by mounting public displays next to the entrance of toilets. This will encourage people to congregate at the entrance. I hope that you will appreciate that people should expect some degree of privacy when entering and leaving toilet facilities.
We did
Response pending
Oct 2022 You said
We really need an academic returners' fund – researchers returning from mat leave have benefitted from this. We've obviously relied on the College-wide Wellcome ISSF to fund it up to now but it seems strange to have not catered for this going forwards as SHW applies for an Athena Swan gold renewal. Not having considered this and created a budget to replace the funding post-ISSF sends out the wrong message.
We did
Response pending
Aug 2022 You said 
Can the cards on HAWKEYE newsletter be straightened? I find them difficult to read in current style.
We did
Thank you for your feedback. One of the potential benefits of Microsoft Sway, the system we are now using to produce HAWKEYE, is the facility for readers to choose how they view content. In relation to the "stacks" of cards, for example, which are used in a number of sections of the newsletter, clicking on the four-headed arrow (bottom right) allows us to view the text in a more static format, with arrows left and right to scroll through the various items. An accessible version of the full newsletter can be turned on by clicking on the three dots (top right) and scrolling down to "Accessibility view". We will add information about this to the top of the relevant sections about these viewing options, for anyone new to Sway. More about accessibility in Sway
Aug 2022 You said 
For the new Clarice Pears building – for all the cyclists/walkers coming to work it would be great to have not just sufficient showering facilities but also a dry room/heated racks or a tumble drier especially in the the winter but even just for rainy days like we have been having recently. At the moment many of us are draping wet clothes and towels over office chairs and radiators which is not ideal. It would encourage staff to continue to cycle/walk to work throughout any bad weather and keep up with our health and fitness goals.
We did 
Thank you for the suggestion. We did request a drying room in the original CP building plans however, due to budgetary constraints we were unable to have this facility.
Aug 2022 You said
For the new Clarice Pears building – a library area for all the books that people currently have in their offices. There must be hundreds of books to share between the school not just for the academics but some of the support staff might also value the chance to read them, and maybe even share with the general public as part of the community engagement programme (although this would require a check in and check out system) but would be a good offering as books are really expensive. It would bring the multiple schools' knowledge/expertise into one area, enhancing collaboration awareness.
We did
This is a lovely suggestion. In preparation for our move we have asked staff to have a serious clear out of offices and we would like staff to offer any books they no longer require to other staff, or to donate books to charity. We don’t have a specified library area in the Clarice Pears, but if staff are taking books then we can certainly look at where a library might be situated in future.
Aug 2022 You said
Any chance we could have an outright ban on fish in microwaves?! Fish can be eaten cold so noone would be missing out on their favourite lunch and it would be considerate to colleagues NOT to do this.
We did
Thank you for your suggestion. Unfortunately we cannot ban certain foods but in our SHW office etiquette guidelines we do suggest that everyone "Try to avoid taking strong-smelling foods into shared areas". When we move into the Clarice Pears building, and if staff still find this a particular problem, then we can put up signage reminding of guidelines. There are a number of kitchen areas and seating areas to choose from on all floors, and SHW positively encourages staff to move around the building, which might also be a solution.
May 2022 You said
Please ensure captions are always enabled for online meetings. (Those who don't want or don't need them can switch them off, but if they are not enabled, people who need or would benefit from captions cannot access them nor, therefore, the meeting.)
We did
SHW endeavours to enable captions on all our online meetings, and have added this information to the SHW online meeting guidelines, so that others are aware that this can be done.
May 2022 You said
The SHW Social channel within the SHW Teams group seems to be underused. "Social" messages appear in the "general" feed, especially those posted by SHW admin staff. Could social messages (with the most recent example being messages about Eurovision) please be posted in the social channel?
We did 
The occasional end of week SHW Admin posts on Teams are a means of keeping in touch, and to wish colleagues well for the coming weekend, however they may be spending it. These posts are not intended to start a thread about non-work or purely social matters. We would hope that colleagues understand the spirit in which these posts are made. Facilitating a good work/life balance is key element of our Athena Swan/equality, diversity and inclusion activities. This includes supporting all staff and students in using their rest days to relax and recharge, and to engage in whatever leisure activities and interests may help with this.
Apr 2022 You said
What is the university doing to resolve the pensions, pay and conditions dispute with UCU? More specifically what is the College doing in relation to the aspect of staff with insecure contracts and the anti-casualisation concerns voiced by UCU?
We did
The university is fully engaged as part of the national HEI employer structures and continues to meet with our local UCU branch representatives on a regular basis to discuss matters spanning the disputed areas: i.e. pensions, pay, workload, equality and casualisation. MVLS and CoSS are directly active in respect of workload management, and we are investing in enhancing workload management practices and systems over the coming period. College-wide efforts on equality continue, with our now well embedded Athena Swan teams and College Equality Diversity & Inclusion Committees. MVLS and CoSS also continue to contribute to the efforts overseen by the university’s Anti-Casualisation Working Group, which has involved each School/School reviewing its practices to ensure that fractional employment arrangements are minimised and underpinned by fair terms and guaranteed hours. In terms of employment security, ongoing review work is transferring staff to open-ended or longer-term contracts wherever possible, and while many jobs are naturally time limited in line with external funding, this will be an area of ongoing review for local management teams with College support.
SHW statement on UCU Strike Action 
The University and College Union is currently undertaking a national campaign of strike action and action short of a strike. There are two disputes: the first is focused on the cuts to USS pensions; the second is over falling pay, the increasing pay gap in relation to gender, ethnicity and disability, precarity and unsafe workloads. SHW appreciates that not everyone in the School is part of UCU. We do, however, acknowledge the challenges and sacrifices that those taking part in industrial action are experiencing. We therefore urge all colleagues in the School to be mindful of when there are strike days, ensuring that colleagues fighting on behalf of the wider workforce are not disadvantaged by missing meetings or opportunities for collaboration. We would ask everyone to respect both digital and actual picket lines. We will also be mindful of opportunities to lobby the University to ensure that UCU members are supported, for example by ensuring that docking of strike pay is carried out in a way that minimises hardship.  
Apr 2022 You said 
Hello, I wanted to recommend to you Ailsa-Mary Gold (https://www.facebook.com/AMGPilates/) who is a Pilates instructor passionate about providing Pilates classes in workplaces. GPPC used to have lunchtime yoga session that was well attended and I seem to remember that we were looking for something similar in the new building. I'm happy to put Ailsa-Mary in touch with whoever is coordinating 'extra curicular' activities.
We did
Thank you for the suggestion. We have set up a Team for "SHW ideas" and "SHW Social". We have posted this suggestion and when we have volunteers for committees, we can try to use.
Mar 2022 You said
As SHW now have a dog policy when we move to open plan will there be spaces allocated that are dog free for those with allergies or phobia. Currently people do not stick to the guidelines and dogs are off leash and in areas where they should not be.
We did
Dog owners should always ask those working in the same area, BEFORE bringing a dog in, if they have any objections/allergies. If dogs are currently off leash then this should be reported to Unit admin or to line manager so that it can be dealt with. If this re-occurs then it is the 3 strikes and you’re out rule. We have reviewed and updated our Dogs at Work guideline (and will continue to do so on a regular basis) and in April 2022 introduced a requirement for dog owners to register their intention to bring their dog to the office, confirming that they have read and agreed to follow the guideline and have consulted with their line manager and all affected colleagues. We have posted about this change on Teams and in a newsletter item in the April 2022 edition of HAWKEYE. 
Mar 2022 You said 
In the new building, how will sound levels be managed in an open plan office if calls are being made from people's desk space? Noise cancelling equipment doesn't block out human voices, and can't necessarily be worn all the time or at all by people who need the exclusion of intrusive noise (as experienced by an individual's own nervous/sensory system), including human voices?
We did
There are sound reduced booths and noise cancelling headphones available, staff must be respectful to others by chatting in communal areas other than at their desk. The situation will be monitored and subject to change. There are a number of booths and small rooms where you can do quiet work on an ad hoc basis – they are not for full time working. A number of single offices will be made available when not in use.
Mar 2022 You said
It's disappointing and discouraging to see info on the Clarice Pears FAQ page about the amount of space to which different job families are entitled, with academics given more than MPA staff. This has been raised before and I know comes from the uni rather than SHW, but I wonder if (a) the School would be willing to challenge the fairness and logic of this, and (b) there could be text added to this answer to make clear that SHW values all staff equally and to explain the rationale? Even if unintentionally, this information sends a very disconcerting message about the importance and value of different categories of staff. SHW works hard to be inclusive and supportive of all staff but these efforts may be undermined if management is seen to approve of what could seem like unfairness and inequity. (As covered in a previous suggestions box response, senior staff  may well need space to hold meetings – although won't there be specific meeting rooms available? – but that would apply to MPA as much as to academic. It's hard to fathom how job family could have any bearing on how much desk space is needed.)
We did
The SHW Project Development Board did raise its concerns at the outset regarding differential allocation of space.  Nonetheless the standard University parameters were applied to all new buildings, including Clarice Pears. Furthermore, Estates counted single offices in the building’s provision of small meeting rooms for up to 4 people. As part of the Clarice Pears Operationalisation workstream, it’s been agreed that single offices may be used by any other member of SHW when available, and by agreement. There are dedicated meeting rooms on all floors for larger meetings. Again, these can be used for meetings convened by any member of SHW.
Mar 2022 You said
What will the arrangements be for locking up the CP building, if we are working beyond 5pm and find ourselves last to leave? I think I would be nervous of having responsibility for securing such a large building!  
We did
The building is open between 8am to 6pm, outwith those times swipe access is required. So there is no locking up as the doors will automatically lock behind you when you leave.
Mar 2022 You said
Please make available the equality impact assessment around the use of space within the new Clarice Pears building, and name the individuals and committees who have determined the number of closed office space "allowed by the university".
We did
Contractually the Clarice Pears building is designed to the University of Glasgow Design Standards 2017.  The Design Standards are reviewed on a 2/3 year cycle.  There is no rule about the number of closed offices and it allows a specified m2 per staff member, and you need a minimum number of m2 to have a single office.  The areas are 9m2 for Academics;  6m2 for PSS; 4m2 for PGR Students. 
Mar 2022 You said
What are hygiene procedures for all the hot desks in Clarice Pears? Who is responsible for cleaning the desktop, monitor, keyboard and mouse after use? Will there be enough social space for people to have lunch away from their desks to ensure keyboards don't become clogged with crumbs and other germ attracting detritus?
We did
It is expected that everyone will bring their own device (BYOD) and therefore there will be little or no equipment to clean. There are many areas throughout the building for people to have lunch away from their desks. Office etiquette including food and drink guidelines are available on our website.
Mar 2022 You said
Given the decision about hybrid working and hot desking, it seems that staff are expected to work at home for a good portion of their working week. What support is SHW/UofG planning to offer as compensation payments for home wifi/broadband that is required to carry out our work? And what are the expectations in terms of wifi speed/connections  that staff are to provide?
We did
There is no expectation for staff to work from home. Staff who want to work 100% of their time on campus can and should do so. UofG are willing to support staff who wish to work off campus, where it is appropriate to the nature of the role/task and is supported by their line manager. More information about this is available in the UofG hybrid working portal.
Feb 2022 You said
Why is the Let's talk about Race in the workplace moodle course optional for staff to complete and not mandatory? It's a great course which does a very good job of explaining and understanding the coded forms of racism experienced by ethnic minority staff in the university, as identified in the Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures report.
We did
The course is not mandatory for all staff, but this suggestion has been raised via our Race Equality Group and will be discussed at EDSC in March, where this decision is made. However, we have recently discussed issues like this with senior staff in MVLS and each School/RI/College has the autonomy, should the local management team choose, to make it mandatory. This has happened across the organisation.
Feb 2022 You said
Recent email "Please provide the potential speakers name, gender ... We plan to ensure the seminar series remains gender-balanced.... Sent on behalf of Theme Leads" – I would not presume to know the gender of every speaker without having asked them. Perhaps it would be more appropriate, or accurate at least, to ask speakers to anonymously complete a brief demographic questionnaire and to ensure that there is space for a variety of responses to questions concerning gender. There is an Athena Swan subgroup doing some LGBT work, so that could be a place to start if needing specific ideas for how to resolve this issue.
We did
Gender has been removed from the email. 
Jan 2022 You said
Why aren't admin staff included in annual workload survey, will a workload survey be set up for them to ensure they are not overloaded? Many admin staff are working over their contracted hours due to pressure of workload.
We did
Professional services staff can't be included in the academic workload survey because the questions relate specifically to academic work. However, we are going to look at the data from the Uniforum survey, which is only for PS staff, to see if we can glean any information from that. The SHW Athena Swan professional services staff working group will look at this. They are always looking for new members and we'd encourage staff to join by contacting SHWadmin@glasgow.ac.uk.
Jan 2022  You said 
Could SHW reiterate Scottish Govt and UofG guidance to take regular lateral flow tests, including before travelling to work? I know we can't enforce it, but communicating to colleagues that this is the responsible and respectful thing to do if we are likely to be meeting others in the workplace might encourage more to comply. Thank you.
We did
In our January 2022 monthly email bulletin to staff we included the following information: "As staff and students start to return to campus, we’d like to take the opportunity to remind everyone of the guidance for taking lateral flow tests. Further info and links are on the main UofG website. The Scottish Government advises everyone to test regularly and before meeting with people from other households. We also ask all colleagues and students to take a lateral flow test before travelling to work, study or to events on campus. You can access free lateral flow testing kits from pick-up points on UofG campuses, as well as many pharmacies or you can also order them online. New Scottish Government guidance is that a positive lateral flow test should be treated as an individual having COVID-19 – a PCR test is only required if you are symptomatic."
Jan 2022 You said 
Why is it assumed that administrative staff can go into buildings to let other people in at a moment's notice, when Scottish Government has advised people should be working at home if they have been doing that in previous lockdowns? 
We did
SHW does not expect professional services staff to be asked to open offices if they are not due to be on site anyway. Staff/students or "other people" requiring access should either plan ahead for access so that arrangements can be made, or contact security if it is urgent or essential to attend an office. Note that the guidance is still "Colleagues should continue to work from home where possible".

2021

Nov 2021 You said
There is far too much focus on a job grade determining someone's worth. I don't think grades should be highlighted to other members of staff. I don't think it's right to openly discuss someone's salary and to evaluate their abilities based on what they earn, particularly when non-academic staff are underpaid for their duties and find it near impossible to get a promotion. Academic staff are promoted regularly. Any promotion is announced with adoration and details of their new pay grade. Things really need to change. I'd also like to add that regardless of your grade, all employees should be treated with the same level of respect. A higher earner should not consider themselves more superior than someone on a lower grade, and that behaviour should not be encouraged by senior members of staff. No member of staff should be talked down to under any circumstances. We are all equal and pay should not determine the level of respect you receive. Every team meeting and unit conference highlights the "us vs them" mentality. There is a very obvious hierarchy, and it needs to stop as I think it is outdated and insulting. Non-academic staff should not be treated as second class citizens. You can still be highly intelligent, educated, and skilled without a PhD.
We did
Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention. We agree completely that everyone in SHW has a valuable contribution to make and should be supported and appreciated equally. In response to your post, we have tabled the issue for discussion at the next School Management Group meeting where we will remind the heads of groups/units of the importance of this issue. Remember that you can always speak to Kate O’Donnell, Cindy Gray or Asha Costigan in confidence.
Oct 2021 You said
Would it be possible to have social communications from SHW sent to a specific channel/email address? e.g. in Teams there could be a 'social' channel in addition to 'general', which I would see as being more for general work/study related communications. Similarly, perhaps an SHW Social email address could be set up. This would help to reduce some of the repeated instances of sending the same information that staff and students are likely have varying levels of interest in.
We did
We will set up a channel within the main SHW MS Teams area for information relating to social events. Everyone who is a member of the main Team will be able to view this content but may opt out of being notified about it by accessing their personal notification settings. (To do this, click on the ellipsis at the RH side of the channel, then from "Channel notifications" select either "All activity", "Off (except for direct replies and personal mentions", or "Customised" for other options. There is more information about managing notifications within MS Teams on the Microsoft website.) We are also organising some specific MS Teams training for staff and students (late 2021/early 2022) and would encourage as many as possible to attend this training. Within email, you can set rules to move specific emails with the same title. For social events SHW will endeavour to keep the format on all emails e.g. SHW Social – title of event. 
Oct 2021 You said
I note with interest the Hawkeye October newsletter highlighting equality etc. At recent SHW townhall meeting we were told professional services (PS) staff will be manning reception in Clarice Pears. PS staff were not consulted about this nor agreed to it. Also to be told that there will be a PC to allow us to work shows contempt for our roles and duties, that we can just drop our work to assist with visitors to reception, and any other ad hoc items, also seems to suggest our work isn’t taxing so can be interrupted anytime. PS staff are extremely busy and get a lot of tasks added to their roles without consultation. This wouldn’t happen to any other job family, and shows inclusion of an admin group in Athena Swan was just an exercise to tick a box for the Gold award.
We did
Thanks for the comment and we fully acknowledge your concerns. We plan to work through operations with PS staff in the near future to address this issue, and would also encourage staff of all job families to join the focus groups which are being offered by the Culture and Operationalisation workgroup to discuss this and other aspects of moving into the Clarice Pears Building (email Michelle.McKelvie@glasgow.ac.uk if you’d like to join in). Up until the Facilities Services review recently, it had been expected that there would be janitorial cover on the Level 1 reception, however, we have been informed this will not be the case. It has been agreed that there will be a dedicated full time receptionist on Level 1, with an additional post is being requested from College. We are genuinely sorry that you might perceive Athena Swan (AS) to be a tick box exercise. All of us involved in leading or supporting AS believe that a key aim is to improve conditions for all staff, regardless of grade or job family. PS staff have made remarkable contributions to AS which senior management of the School fully acknowledge. The issues raised by our PS staff are important to us, but some things lie outwith the control of SHW. Please know that, where responsibility lies with wider university management e.g. in relation to admin staff resources, we continue to raise these with senior management.
Oct 2021 You said 
I was perplexed following the last townhall meeting when Jill said that all professional services (PS) staff will work a rota basis to cover the main reception (and receptions on individual floors) when we move to the new building. Does SHW not want to convey a professional image to visitors to the new building, that they have staff whose role it is to know what's going on in the building, who can assist the public with enquiries, who can give a little more information on the planned exhibits on the ground floor, amongst many other queries they are likely to receive? I'm not sure how PS staff, who are already busy in their own roles, can be expected to take these additional duties on … especially without any discussion with them on the topic thus far. The University Pay and Grading Policy states: "ensure that pay and benefits are allocated on a fair and consistent basis and that the University fulfills is legal obligation to provide equal pay for work of equal value", so if indeed all PS staff at all grades will be covering reception then how can you say it is equal work for equal value, when for example you have a grade 3 on reception one day and a grade 7 the next day? I wonder if HR would agree with the suggested rota system across PS staff at different grades.
We did 
See response immediately above
Sep 2021 You said
In the Clarice Pears building, will there be lockable storage for confidential research files?
We did
There is lockable storage for research, and lockers provided for personal items. We request that everyone reviews what paperwork they are currently keeping, and clears out as much as possible (if you are able to return to the office) by the end of December 2021. If you are required to store paperwork which is not needed on a regular basis, you should consider archiving. Your administrators can supply waste bags and assist with disposal if required. The clear-out also applies to out of date equipment.
Sep 2021 You said
In the Clarice Pears building, will janitorial or security staff be on ground floor like other university buildings or will receptionists be hired?   
We did 
There has been an ongoing review of Facilities Services (FS), which includes janitorial support. FS will deliver a service to a number of buildings which will be grouped into zones. There won’t be dedicated 9am–5pm janitorial support in the Clarice Pears building. SHW will require the support of all units to cover the ground floor reception via a rota. There will be computers at the reception desks on all floors therefore professional services staff who are located there will be able to undertake their normal work when not attending to reception related duties.
Sep 2021 You said
It would be really helpful for those of us who plan and deliver teaching in SHW if we could have an update soon on the teaching space that will be available in the new Clarice Pears building please. Number of rooms, capacity and when room bookings will be available.
We did
There are a variety of multi-purpose rooms on the ground floor (Level 1) of the Clarice Pears building. SHW will have priority in terms of access to booking their own rooms. Then if the space is not being utilized, rooms may be released to the wider university community. As regards putting CP rooms into your schedule for teaching, this will fit in with the usual university timetabling system. To book space at short notice, there will be digital signage next to rooms to allow you see when a room is reserved or free, which is useful for the drop in flexible teaching spaces to use flexibly for tutorials, small group teaching and PhD supervision etc.
Aug 2021 You said
Current Scottish Government guidance is that we should continue to work from home where possible. What is SHW’s perspective on this?
We did 
Current advice from Scottish Government is to work at home if you can. Our approach is if you can work from home then please do so if possible. If you need to come into work because the work can only be undertaken on campus, or because you as an individual feel (for whatever reason) you’re not able to do it at home, and you prefer to come and work on campus, then that is fine.  
Jul 2021 You said 
Will SHW be encouraging staff and students who plan to return to the office (rather than working remotely) to have the COVID vaccine?
We did
UofG will be issuing communications soon regarding the return of more people to campus. The communication is expected to include a statement to the effect that the most effective measure that you can take to ensure your own safety and those around you is to receive two COVID vaccinations. The communication is likely to also contain a link to the NHS site providing more information on vaccination and how to book. 
May 2021 You said
At the recent town hall meeting, Jill said that space for staff is allocated on the basis of seniority (i.e. senior staff get more desk space). Can the School lead the way in challenging this within the university? All staff deserve equally to have a comfortable working space (not just the well paid ones) and I would imagine that senior staff spend less time at their desks than staff at lower grades anyway. I believe SHW values fairness and the move to the new building and the associated space-planning is an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the university.
We did
At the outset, the University gave us approval for the new building along with an associated budget and size based on the university space criteria whereby a certain amount of space is allocated per staff member/student depending on grade and job family. The amounts per head differed by grade and the reality is that you need a minimum amount of square metres to have a single office vs shared office or a shared office vs open plan. The actual numbers in the University guidance have changed since then but the criteria still specify four groups of staff/students who are allocated different size (9 vs 6 vs 4 m2) and type (single office, shared office, open plan) of space. One reason for these size allocations is the recognition that more senior staff are more likely to have managerial and team responsibilities; slightly larger space allocation allows those meetings to take place locally, allowing other meeting rooms to be freed up for other members of staff to use. The university also instructed that single offices need to cater for all (up to) 4 person meetings involving the incumbent. This meeting capacity was deducted from the space allocated for meetings in the building. Whilst this is the default setting it would not be appropriate for offices to be under-occupied and this applies to single offices as much as other types of space. Therefore, if senior members of staff are not using their office space full-time we will have systems in place to ensure that this space is available for other uses as appropriate.
Apr 2021 You said
Remember that SHW is cross-college, therefore MVLS contacts and procedures are not relevant to all SHW students. If information is sent to all SHW students, please clearly communicate whether it is relevant to all SHW students, or only those in MVLS (or another college). If it is a university-wide requirement, direct students registered in other colleges to the relevant contacts and procedures in addition to including the MVLS details.
We did
Thank you for this suggestion and in future we will add to any information we forward to students that the info may only apply to MVLS students, and you may want to contact the college you are registered with for the relevant info.  We hope that the College you are registered with also send you the appropriate information.
Apr 2021 You said
Would it be possible to emphasise to staff that, when attending a training course, they should behave respectfully and courteously at all times towards the trainer? Comments and queries are fine if something in the content is difficult to grasp, and if they arise out of a genuine desire to learn. However, negativity for the sake of it is the height of rudeness to colleagues who are sharing their time and expertise with us, unhelpful and embarrassing to other attendees, and has the potential to reflect badly on SHW's reputation in other areas of  the university.  
We did
When training is organised internally SHW will add info on the invitation saying "SHW has organised this training for the benefit of our staff, it is voluntary to attend. We would ask that attendees are respectful towards others, whether it’s the expert who has spent time putting the course together at our request, or to other attendees."
Apr 2021 You said
Actively work to improve the culture around disability, accessibility and inclusion. This should be led from the top through actions and not just words. Learning opportunities should not be delegated to admin and support staff (e.g. attendance at an event in hidden conditions), although it is invaluable that all staff have the chance to increase their knowledge in this area if an effective cultural shift is to be achieved. Promoting collaboration and drawing people in is central to actively considering and implementing an inclusive, accessible culture. Overemphasis on individual competitiveness promotes ableism and an exclusive culture.
We did
As SHW, we acknowledge and support the importance of accessibility and inclusion for all, including those living with disability. The hidden disabilities workshop was a starting point and will not be the only activity to promote inclusivity and tackle ableism. We agree that this is not only the responsibility of admin and support staff and will strive to ensure that staff across all job families attend events in the future, as we are doing for other issues e.g. mandatory bystander training. These issues are also at the heart of our Athena SWAN work. In 2021, we appointed an SHW disability champion, Elise Whitley, to sit on SHW's Athena SWAN self assessment team. 
Mar 2021 You said
I have a question about today's email regarding recognition. Can I ask the university to explain why my contribution over the last year is worth less than someone on a higher grade? If we are all valued the same and have ALL contributed to the success of the university why are we not all recognised in the same way. This basically tells everyone that you are valued but those who get paid more are valued more (despite the fact that those very people rely on those of us at lower grades to do the day to day work). I mean I already know that ECRs are valued less but this confirms it.
We did
SHW management values ALL its staff equally and recognises your contribution to our success. The SHW DoRI emailed the Principal, Head of College MVLS and Head of College CoSS raising concerns about the higher payments to staff on higher incomes. The Principal responded as follows: "I fully understand the concern. The recognition payment was originally set out as a %age one-off payment, but we capped it to ensure that higher paid staff did not receive too much and we put a floor on it to ensure that lower-paid staff got a higher percentage. If we had expressed it as a % it would have been clear that this was the intent." And further commented: "I should also have added: of course earlier in the year we made a payment to provide some compensation for Covid disruption and that was paid only to grades 1-6 with higher grade staff receiving no payment. That is also important re context. But as I say, useful to see these comments as it will help us calibrate further decisions." Please know that the Senior Management of the School take these issues very seriously. We commit to listening to your concerns and following up on those wherever possible."
Feb 2021 You said
Could we speak to those who chose to publicly berate other researchers for simple mistakes and discuss how these micro-aggressions actually fuel hostile environments.  I am particularly thinking of the last two occasions that white, middle aged male researchers chose to publicly berate females who mistakenly replied all to an email. To be honest these kinds of actions make me less likely to reply to anything at  all for fear of making a mistake and being publicly ridiculed.
We did
We have passed the suggestion to UofG Equality and Diversity to find a way to address, as the staff member was not in SHW.
Jan 2021 You said
For some ECRs the current situation has vastly reduced their opportunities for collaboration/career development beyond their initial team e.g. being on grants relies on being aware of the application in the first place prior to a success and some some this is line manager dependent. For some they are being excluded from opportunities which as a result has implications for their promotion/future development. It's much easier for established researchers to be involved as they are more known and have better connections through prior work. If we are to move to a more blended way of working how will you ensure that ECRs are not disadvantaged even more particularly if the intention is to increase more School-wide collaboration.
We did
SHW recommends:
– Accessing the SHW online induction site (still useful even if you’ve been here a while)
– Accessing UofG personal development planning toolkit 
– Registering with one or more SHW research theme and be included in the mailing lists for any theme meetings, workshops, seminars etc  
– Registering for the SHW grant writing group to make more contacts
– Speaking to your line manager and/or mentor. They should assist in identifying useful collaborators and making introductions.
– Accessing information on the UofG website about moving conferences online
We’d value feedback on whether it would help if SHW supports a series of "Research in progress" seminars (which currently happens in a couple of units). There would be a deliberate a mix of topics at each session and people can then follow up if they hear something that resonates with them. Format of 4 presentations of 15 mins each on research ongoing or being planned, rather than completed. Discussion is encouraged along the lines of "have you thought of...", "I am having the same problem how are dealing with it...". This would be a chance to share ideas, problems, solutions, forge collaborations etc..

2020 

Nov 2020 You said
Could more Zoom seminars in the School please be run as actual seminars where participants can see who else is at the seminar and interact with each other more, for example through private chat? 
We did 
This was discussed at IMG and the decision was made to keep as webinar so that the speaker will not be interrupted. The chat facility can be used to contact any other attendee. (The list of attendees can be viewed.)
Oct 2020 You said
Better co-ordination of large grant applications. It would be good to have a system where we know who is interested in applying for what and someone to contact if other people are interested and might be able to help. 
We did 
SHW has asked the research management team if they have any suggestions as to how we might do this. 
Jun 2020 You said
PGT/R review: In several places, whether PGT/R extensions or in the recent PGR reviews pertaining to COVID-19 related disruptions, students are asked to detail and potentially subsequently evidence medical/psychological problems e.g. with doctor’s descriptions. I know some students are put off – fairly – by not wanting to do this, and I think better balancing is required: firstly a clearer statement of exactly who will see the details/evidence; why it is absolutely necessary those individuals do so; how the process ensures the minimum number of people are involved, and secondly the option of an individual staff member they are comfortable with to confirm the veracity (having seen the evidence), rather than it going to an unknown number of unseen staff members. Perhaps even a system where each year a small number of staff’s responsibility is ‘confirming’ they are happy with the evidence.
We did
With regards PGT, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the University’s Good Cause procedures are suspended and students do not have to provide evidence. In normal times, SHW follows the University process and MVLS Graduate School has a Good Cause Officer who leads on local good cause claims. We can reassure that everything submitted in evidence is treated confidentially and sensitively. It is a small group of staff, led by the Good Cause Officer, who study the evidence and reach a decision. The information is not shared beyond this group. In response to this query, we will discuss Good Cause procedures at the next SHW PGT cluster meeting.
Jun 2020 You said
Student annual review confidentiality. Student annual reviews are important because it provides an independent view of their progress and allows them to voice concerns they may have about their supervisors. However: often the supervisors ask colleagues to be the reviewers, and this makes it much more difficult for students to ‘speak up’ if they have concerns the reviewer will blab to the supervisor. Even if reviewers do keep complaints confidential, that’s not the point: the point is that students could feel they can’t say anything in the first place. At the moment, viva examiners cannot have clear links to supervisors and this should be extended less stringently to PGR  reviews
We did
This general topic has been fed back to the MVLS Graduate School in differing guises/under different issues by the SHW PGR convenors. To update on developments: SHW is hosting a session on "how to get the most out of your APR" and as a backdrop to this the Graduate School are also updating their panel review guidance.  SHW PGR convenors will ensure that the Graduate School is reminded of this concern so they can be explicit in their guidance to reviewers on the importance of independence in their updated guidance. 
Jun 2020 You said
Integrating working-from-home into post-lockdown SHW. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown things which were possible all along regarding work/life balance and working from home. The benefits include that it helps with childcare, lowers individual emissions (not driving; fewer people on buses and trains) and in some instances makes work easier through screen sharing/collaborating. When we return to work, it would benefit SHW generally and in terms of Athena SWAN, to state that similar to the implementation of core hours (10-4), any meeting above a certain number of people (e.g. three) includes a zoom link for anyone that would prefer to attend that way. This must be as standard and come from above, because it is an unfair dynamic for junior colleagues to request it.
We did
SHW is very supportive of flexible working which includes home-working. There may be specific job roles or specific tasks that can only be undertaken on site. Also, there may be international visa requirements that require us to meet with staff on a specified frequency. Therefore, any requests to work from home, on a permanent, temporary or one-off arrangement, should be discussed and agreed with line-managers. It is important to maintain two-way communications with staff who are working at home both in terms of line-management and also as part of our duty of care to the health and wellbeing of our staff. We are also supportive of reducing our carbon footprint and this includes use of remote attendance at meetings where appropriate and feasible. We encourage offering a remote attendance option at all meetings for which it is appropriate irrespective of meeting size. We need  to bear in mind that meetings tend to function best if they are entirely face to face or entirely remote. Large meetings with one or two people attending remotely sometimes result in their 'exclusion' from discussions. This may have improved as a result of greater use and familiarity with remote meetings during lock-down.
Jun 2020 You said
Allow limited access to offices, not just to collect equipment, but to let staff use the office for a couple of hours at a time to use plan future work, (this is much easier with double monitors), print, use the scanner etc. Not a full return to work by any means but a wee bit of flexibility would be nice.
We did
For now, we are obliged to comply with Scottish Government guidelines and, for university owned buildings, University guidelines also. The University has devised a phased re-opening of buildings. Unfortunately, all buildings cannot be reopened at the same time because re-opening requires planning and preparation including a building-specific risk assessment, deep-cleaning, signage, provision of hand sanitisers, planning of how best to ramp up occupancy rates etc. Currently SHW buildings are due to re-open as listed below:
–Boyd Orr – 1 July (Phase 2)
–124 Observatory Road/1 Horselethill Road/1-3 Lilybank Gardens - early Sept (Phase 3a for support/prep for teaching ONLY)
–Fleming Pavilion (Phase 4 – end Oct/Nov)
–NHS and SPHSU sites have separate timetables.
Prior to a building re-opening the building can only be entered by individuals on the essential workers list or in order to collect things required for home working. These require prior approval and notification to security. For ad hoc visits please submit a request via the UofG Helpdesk stating whether you have keys and codes required or whether you require Security to let you in. If you require to do tasks that cannot be undertaken at home, please request via SHWadmin@glasgow.ac.uk. Please note that some tasks (e.g. preparation of online teaching material may have to be done in locations different to your normal location. 
Jun 2020 You said
Why are staff being asked to pick up work from furloughed colleagues, despite this being against furlough scheme?  Staff still working have  enough work to do and this is adding more stress.
We did
A reminder to line managers regarding furlough was put in the SHW weekly email. If staff have been put on furlough and it’s necessary for some work to be redistributed, line managers should discuss and reach agreement with remaining staff as to whether this is feasible, and without overloading.
May 2020 You said
Related to equality, gender and hierarchies, it’s been noted that although the chair took notes at the first (xxx) meeting, it’s only been junior women who have subsequently volunteered to take minutes.
We did
Chair has been notified and will ask staff to take meeting notes on a rotational basis, and alternately male and female. SHW asks that where possible, all groups in SHW do the same.
May 2020 You said
With the current pandemic and social distancing, and the risk it may happen again in future are there any plans to rethink the open plan model for new SHW building?
We did
The plans for the Clarice Pears building have been finalised. It is not feasible to reconfigure the plans within budget constraints. Joint offices are also an issue and different ways of working will have to be considered 
Apr 2020 You said
I wasn't sure if the issue of furloughing should have been raised or not in the IMG meeting. It might help people who are struggling to carry out their work for whatever reason particularly those on fixed term contracts.
We did
Information about the coronavirus job retention scheme is available on the UofG website
Mar 2020 You said
At this stressing time, it would be beneficial to have a daily update from head of School or unit.
We did
It was felt that a weekly email from the Director of School would be sufficient as there are updates from college and internal communications, and it was felt staff may feel email overload if the update was daily. [Update in August 2020: this is now a fortnightly email]
Feb 2020 You said
A suggestion was received regarding the health and wellbeing of staff at RCB, asking that it be brought to the attention of the School’s Management Group.
We did
On behalf of IMG, the SHW Exec group asked that this was raised at the senior staff management group at RCB and for some action to be taken. An email was sent by RCB management to all RCB staff offering the opportunity to discuss any issues with line managers, RCB senior management, or other SHW staff outwith RCB. This is being followed up. 
Feb 2020 You said
If staff are well enough to work but have bugs that others could pick up, could we encourage them to work from home to prevent the spread of illness? And in the case of vomiting bugs, ask everyone to adhere to the NHS advice that we don't return to work until 48 hours after symptoms have cleared?
We did
This question has been superseded by the pandemic, where the default is to work from home. 
Jan 2020 You said
Is there going to be a consultation on the needs for staff with respect to screens and desk requirements? A lot of tasks requirement multiple windows at once, and one screen does not work as well. It also potentially discriminatory with respect to age and disability, as more screen space is a way of coping with visual disabilities.
We did
Staff will take their current equipment to the new building.  When we are in the new building, new staff will be asked if they want one or two screens.  In relation to our sustainability goals, SHW is trying to be mindful of numbers of power sockets, cabling and energy use.    

Archive of previous years' suggestions and responses