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Issue 480, 22 April 2002

No summertime blues for support staff

Leeds is the first university to increase annual leave to 25 days for all support staff – clerical, technical and ancillary. The change, from July 1 this year, brings holiday entitlement into line with academic and related staff.

Human resources director Matthew Knight said: "This is one of the best ways of rewarding our staff for their hard work and dedication."

As part of the new leave arrangement, the unions MSF and UNISON have agreed that all full-time staff will be expected to work 'full-time hours', of 36.5 hours a week for clerical workers, 37 for technicians and 38 for ancillary staff.

Part-time staff and those working part of the year will have a pro-rata entitlement, and extra leave days for long service will no longer be granted. Information about the changes, including details of this year's entitlement, will be circulated this week.

Clive Hudson of MSF called the change a positive step to reward support staff: "This is a ground-breaking move by Leeds and we hope that the harmonisation process will continue." Fred Whitaker of UNISON also welcomed the change. "Leeds is setting an example for other universities to follow," he added.

Human resources and unions are pursuing a number of positive initiatives aimed at improving working lives under the 'rewarding and developing staff' umbrella, including the harmonisation of terms and conditions: see future Reporters for more details.

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