The first Your Voice@UTAS staff survey of UTAS staff was undertaken in April 2009. The survey aims were:
- To better understand staff attitudes and levels of engagement with the University
- To identify issues of concern to staff
- To clarify issues that should be of concern to the University
- To develop mechanisms to address those issues
- To provide a drive towards meaningful change and to develop a change capable university culture
The results of the survey were widely disseminated and discussed in the University and three working groups were formed to develop the Your Voice Action Plan, which was adopted by University Council in June 2010. The implementation of the action plan was overseen by the Voice Project Steering Group throughout 2011 with the assistance of three reference groups, organised under the same themes as the working groups: culture and communications, people, and technology.
Some of the numerous changes that have followed in these areas are outlined below. Importantly, the survey is now part of an ongoing process of improvement in response to staff suggestions and concerns and the survey will take place again in 2012.
Culture and Communications
- In response to the Your Voice 2009 survey, a UTAS Statement of Values was developed through a collegial, university-wide process in the first half of 2011. University Council endorsed the statement in July 2011.
- Flowing from the work to develop the Statement of Values, UTAS will seek to become a signatory to the Magna Charta Universitatum in 2013.
- A UTAS Staff Intranet was launched in 2011 for more effective communication with staff.
- Participatory leadership methodologies have resulted in more collaborative and collegial communications and decision-making. These processes underpinned the development of the UTAS Statement of Values and were used in the development of Open to Talent, the new UTAS strategic plan. More than 70 UTAS staff members have been trained in these methods and a community of practice is currently being formed.
- The term Professional Staff replaced General Staff following a University wide survey to gauge staff preferences.
- A Professional Staff Reclassifications Review Panel has been created to improve the professional staff reclassification process. It meets twice a year and includes both UTAS and union members.
- New initiatives for fixed term and casual staff have been added to the relevant staff agreements, including a new marking payment arrangements for casual staff, an increase in casual loading, an early career development scheme that provides a number of fellowships for casual staff completing PhDs, and improved superannuation arrangements.
- An online induction course has been developed to introduce new casual staff to UTAS.
- A joint UTAS-NTEU Academic Workload Development Committee has been created.
- Bullying has been added to the harassment and discrimination policy and training has been delivered across all campuses.
- The UTAS wireless network has undergone significant expansion across the University’s campuses.
- Lectopia coverage has been greatly expanded and relaunched as MyMedia Service with a consequent increase in the number of lectures recorded for students and improved support materials.
- A standard operating environment has been rolled out across UTAS so that higher levels of ICT support are possible.
- The MyLO 2012 project has developed improved online learning and teaching services and the new system based on Desire2Learn software was introduced in August 2012.
- Details of ICT support services are now included in induction materials for all new staff.
- The University has recently committed over $5 million to the first stage of a program to upgrade videoconferencing facilities.