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FSU: status after two years’ work

Health’s current Faculty Liaison Committee (FSU) has existed for two years. Two years with lots of changes and challenges. Now is the time for an evaluation of the committee’s work, format of the meetings and communication efforts. Three employee representatives talk about their experiences.

The last time the Faculty Liaison Committee (FSU) at Health held a meeting one of the items on the agenda was an evaluation of the committee’s work. The members had already proposed the topics they found most important to evaluate. This resulted in an evaluation form with three topics:

  • The commitment of the members
  • The format of the meetings, their quality and innovation within the framework
  • Communicating FSU’s work to the organisation, e.g. communication of results.

“It is always important to evaluate in order to develop and improve yourself. This is also true for the work of the FSU. That is why we are currently in the process of discussing what we can do better in relation to the format of the meetings, commitment and communication. The committee works well and constructively in the current form, but we can always be better and sharper,” says Dean Allan Flyvbjerg, who is chairman of the FSU at Health.

Trust and commitment are keywords

FSU members hold quarterly meetings to discuss different topics that influence the main academic area as a whole.

“For the FSU to be of value we, as its members, must be committed and trust each other and the forum we meet in. As employee representatives we sit at the table to, among other things, put the difficult and critical questions to the management. It is therefore vital that there is a comfortable and informal environment. And I think we have succeeded here. We have a constructive dialogue,” says Annette Kudahl Jensen, who represents HK (The Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees). She works in the departmental secretariat at the Department of Biomedicine.

In the current framework for the work of the FSU the management briefing takes a lot of time and focus. The chairman manages the meetings in a traditional manner and ensures that the agenda is adhered to.

“We did have a theme meeting on the matrix model. It worked really well! I learnt something that day. And even though it was a theme meeting, we did not neglect the compulsory items on the agenda such as the finances. The theme model provides an opportunity for concentrating on a single topic. We could perhaps take up a topic like the study progress reform at one of the coming meetings,” suggests Bettina Winther Grumsen who represents the laboratory technicians and herself works as a laboratory technician at the Department of Biomedicine.

The foundation is in place

The major changes and budget reduction processes at the university have also affected the FSU’s agenda. It can therefore be difficult to evaluate the committee’s work.

“Our work in the FSU is characterised by the change processes and the new university. So it is difficult to assess how the FSU functions in a normal day-to-day environment. But I think there is a basis for future work. The foundation is in place now,” says Diana Gyldenløve, who represents 3F (The United Federation of Danish Workers) and is employed as an animal technician at the Department of Clinical Medicine.

In February 2013 the FSU initiated a process to make the committee’s work more visible and an employee from the communication department was attached to the committee.

“I am happy that there is more communication about our work. Just publishing the minutes on the website meant they were only read by colleagues who actively looked for them. Our responsibility is limited to our professional organisation and the colleagues we represent. So it’s great that a there is a professional who can communicate to all of the employees at Health on behalf of the committee,” says Bettina Winther Grumsen.

FSU in brief

  • The members of the FSU are appointed for two years at a time.
  • The current FSU was originally appointed until 1 March 2014, but has been extended to 1 June 2014 due to the budget process.
  • The management representatives are appointed by the dean, who is also the FSU chairman.
  • The employee representatives are appointed by the unions.
  • During the last two yeas the FSU has worked with topics such as the academic development process, physical and psychological workplace assessment (WPA), finances, pay negotiations and talent development.

Read more about the FSU at Health and find the latest minutes from their meetings at Health’s internal website.

You can also read the article ”Follow FSU: The working environment affects all of us” (Danish).