Short version: yes, but see below for advice.
Members have been asking UCU reps what the union policy is on annual academic meetings (AAMs).
UCU opposed the introduction of annual academic meetings. There was already a much better and more constructive Staff Review and Development Scheme (SRDS) agreed between universities and the UCU.
At the time, University of Leeds’ insistence on the new scheme led to annual academic meetings becoming part of a UCU dispute with the university.
The resolution of the dispute was that, at the request of UCU, the university made a lot of improvements to the proposed guidance on annual academic meetings, making it much more acceptable to UCU members. In response to those improvements, although UCU didn’t formally agree to the annual academic meetings, UCU ended the dispute and agreed to recognise attending an annual academic meeting can be a ‘reasonable management request’.
So, if you’re asked if you want to attend an annual academic meetings, it’s your choice, decide if you think it will be of value to you. But if you’re asked to attend one (i.e. it’s a management request) you should endeavour to attend it.
Advice from the UCU negotiators is to pay careful attention to:
1.2 – SRDS is the primary contractual mechanism
1.7 – AAMs are not for performance management
2.1 – honours requests for a 1-1 meeting format
Contact email@example.com if you want a UCU caseworker to advise you on your individual circumstances.