M R Ogden
returned the staff well-being survey and encouraged all
Language Centre staff to do the same.
the response rate at 23% might be a bit disappointing,
it isn't bad compared with typical values for similar
exercises. It means that over 1500 staff are serious enough
about their health and well-being at work to want to do
something about it. It is surely also true that others,
who for whatever reason failed to return the form, would
'come on board' as paying users if any of the mooted facilities
were made available.
wonder therefore whether a 'campus-wide debate' is necessary.
Would it not be seen by many just as a way of postponing
action? Your article states a pool has been 'under consideration
for many years', and that it is (still) top of the wish-list.
Surely then the committee needs a firm action plan to
create a pool? Its efforts should remain focused on fundraising,
and I don't see a campus-wide debate as the best way of
taking that forward.
making a really obvious point, sauna, steam, massage and
showers could all have a place in the pool. Indeed, linking
with another Reporter item, how about free parking and
a free swim for staff who arrive on campus before 7.30am?
Productivity might never be the same again and I speak
as one who cycles nine miles to work but who, I confess,
usually arrives after 9 am.
is just on our doorstep
good to find swimming at the top of our sports facility
wish-list. But we don't have to wait for a new pool to
be built on campus in order to enjoy it. One of this country's
rare 50 metre pools and 10 metre diving pits Ð which many
of us have enjoyed using for decades Ð is on our doorstep.
International Pool is now under threat. Our city council
is proposing to sell its valuable site to fund a suburban
replacement. Those of us who regularly use its pools,
gyms and other facilities know how unjustified are the
malicious rumours about its unsuitability for training,
competition and healthy exercise. No impartial assessment
has shown that it cannot be brought up to the highest
current standards for much less than it would cost to
build two new pools. Architects like myself deplore the
intention to demolish an outstanding example of good modernist
tens of thousands of students Ð here and at LMU Ð and
for city-centre workers and residents, a remote replacement
in south Leeds is useless. Before all of us keep on going
our separate ways, can't we co-operate in finding a sensible
way of keeping the first-class facilities we all need
where they belong: in the city centre?
feng shui consultants
Smith and others
Algernon Firth building
the November issue (Reporter 474), front-page space was
given to an article on stresses in the workplace, urging
University staff to complete a questionnaire on aspects
of their working environment, both physiological and psychological.
Although we applaud any improvements the University is
trying to implement, the notion of providing such indulgencies
as saunas and tai-chi rooms is extremely offensive to
the majority of the staff working on the third floor of
the Algernon Firth building.
ex-'museum' on the third floor has now been given over
to 'office space', where there is a paucity of heating
and lighting. The main lighting in the room is from ten
ceiling lights, of which currently only five are working.
After repeated requests there is still no sign of the
scaffolding arriving to repair the remaining broken five.
As an example, at 4pm, the illumination level has been
measured by University estate services at between 57-200
lux. Dr Brian Singleton, the University's safety adviser,
has informed us that there is a requirement of providing
between 300-500 lux for VDU users.
the autumn the temperature has ranged between 8-21C. Last
summer, one of the wettest on record, the average temperature
in the working day was 32C; on occasion the only solution
was to prop open the firedoors.
of heaters and lamps is impossible, as there are only
five power sockets between twenty people for all uses.
Two applications to the minor works committee for funds
to improve the workspace by professors Christopher Wild
and Alastair Hay have been unsuccessful.
before the University calls in the feng shui consultants,
it could ensure that all staff have a basic level of comfort
in the workplace.
of estates, Robert Sladdin replies: Following the transfer
of the Pathology Museum to the Worsley building, medicine
submitted a request for minor works funding for converting
the former museum area to offices. This was deferred due
to continued uncertainty about the future use of the Algernon
Firth building by the University and the Trust. However,
space pressures have meant that medicine is now using
the museum space for staff, and we are in discussion about
how we can fund a relatively modest improvement, to make
the area usable until the building is vacated in 2006.
bone of contention
cost of parking for 'visitors', amongst whom are many
staff, is obviously a bone of contention (Letters, Reporter
476). However, the real problem is insufficient car parking
spaces to satisfy the demand Ð currently 638 staff are
on the waiting list for permits.
who park for a daily fee are competing for parking places
with short stay visitors to the campus who arrive later
in the day. These visitors often have to be turned away
when the car parks are full, which is a daily occurrence,
much to the dismay and annoyance of departments who have
arranged for visitor parking. continued from page 2
daily parking for staff would simply encourage more people
to come to campus by car, which would further exacerbate
the parking problem.
traffic policy review group, which I chair, is exploring
potential solutions to the problem and will shortly be
issuing a questionnaire to all staff who would like to
park on campus. The questionnaire will seek to quantify
the demand for spaces and to help the group to understand
the factors influencing that demand. I hope that all would-be
parkers will help the group by completing the questionnaire.
demands for more parking
Member of Parliament
was pleased to see the discussion in the letters page
of Reporter 476 on parking provision for University employees
in or close by the University of Leeds. I am also grateful
to note the resistance to the demands for the provision
of additional parking places from the local planning authority.
a locally elected member of parliament, I remain concerned
about the environmental consequences of car use in the
areas around the University and would like to add my thoughts
that the University would send better signals to all those
who use its resources (both staff and students) and other
employers in the city if it offered some sort of travel
subsidy for its workers to use the public transport system.
It would not be the first time a major employer had taken
on this form of support for its workers in Leeds. The
University may even get a special deal from the providers
of the transport given the size of its workforce and its
resulting capacity to bulk-buy travel passes.
the trade unions could open up such an exchange of view
with the employer and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport
Executive, if such arrangements do not already exist?
go greener too
read with interest the article on good environmental practices
'Growing greener with a new strategy'. It is great news
that the University is interested in environmental issues.
light of this could anyone explain why nearly 500 copies
(about 475 I think) of the Reporter are sent out internally
in envelopes? This is such a waste of envelopes and labels,
around 1000 a month. (Not to mention time spent sticking
labels on and filling the envelopes.) Most of these envelopes
are probably put straight in the bin.
they have to be labelled individually could these not
be stuck on the back of the magazine like all the others?
have never understood why copies of the Reporter need
name and address labels on them at all, as this is such
a waste of labels, and the resources used to run them
on the printer and stick them on the magazine. Why can't
numbers required for each building, department or office,
be listed for the delivery people who could then deliver
the necessary amount to each office?
reply: We use envelopes only when the number of inserts
warrants it (otherwise they would fall out). Staff and
envelope costs are met by those requesting distribution
of the inserts. We would expect all individuals, departments
or offices to recycle them; the press office will gladly
do so if you have no need of them.