BUIRA President report – June 2022


Thank you!

Thank you to all BUIRA stewards and executive members for your contributions to the association during what has been a very difficult period (the Coronavirus pandemic, and strikes). It is a volunteer role, so what you have done to sustain BUIRA in difficult times is greatly appreciated. This includes creating a new BUIRA website, a new BUIRA Fellows scheme, among other achievements. Well done all!

BUIRA webinars

BUIRA has been organising some special webinars in addition to the annual conference. The idea is that this can help to ‘institutionalise’ BUIRA. The webinars have proven to be accessible, popular and successful.

Previous webinars include: ‘Covid-19 and the centrality of researching the employment relationship’; Ed Heery – 40 years an industrial relationist; The GMB/Uber deal: implications for industrial relations in the gig economy and beyond.

There is another webinar scheduled for 2 November 2022 (rescheduled from spring 2022 due to strikes/Covid). Joint BUIRA/Manchester IR Society (MIRS) Special Webinar on Intersectionality.

Chairs: Jenny Rodriguez and Anne McBride.

Speakers: Mayra Ruiz Castro, Gabriella Alberti; Mike Noon and Maria Hudson


Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS) Fellows

BUIRA has successfully nominated 6 AcSS Fellows under the current stewardship. Further suggestions for nominations from BUIRA members are welcome.


BUIRA Doctoral Workshop and main conference 2022

University of Birmingham is hosting both the BUIRA Doctoral Workshop and BUIRA Annual Conference 2022.

The BUIRA Doctoral Workshop will take place on the afternoon of Monday June 27th. There will be a keynote/plenary by Prof. Mark Saunders, “What constitutes excellence in research and does it matter?”

This will be followed by critical friend sessions – 18 PGRs will present their work supported by 8 volunteer critical friends who will provide constructive feedback. The doctoral workshop is an investment in the future of BUIRA and important for the development of the IR/ER scholars of the future, who we hope will continue with BUIRA. Supporting ECRs is key to the future of BUIRA.

BJIR Doctoral Prize – judged by Eleanor Kirk and Emma Hughes – to be announced at the conference dinner on June 29th.

The main conference will have 3 plenaries and 3 special sessions, and paper sessions organised thematically under the overarching conference theme: Why Employment Relations Matter(s). Considerable thanks and appreciation to Gen Coderre-LaPalme for all her hard work in helping to organise the conference and the social events.

Host BUIRA Conference in 2023 and 2024

The call for applications was circulated in the BUIRA newsletter. No definitive bids yet. However, Cardiff might be interested in hosting in 2023, and we should hopefully know more next week.

Next stewardship

University of Bristol to take over stewardship after 2022 conference (2022-2025). Many thanks for the team at Bristol for taking over – much appreciated.

Global networking with sister IR/ER international associations

TD been doing more liaising/networking with ‘sister’ IR/ER associations globally (ILERA). BUIRA President is ILERA Council Member.

Warmest wishes to all BUIRA members and your families. Thank you for continuing to support the association.

Tony Dobbins

President, June 2022


BUIRA Secretary Report to the Annual General Meeting – June 2022


This brief report details the work of the Secretary since the previous Annual General Meeting (AGMs). It details the following: BUIRA publications; BUIRA elections; BUIRA Fellows.


1) BUIRA Publications

As previously reported to AGMs, we now have a book series affiliated with BUIRA. The series ‘Understanding Work and Employment Relations’ is published by Bristol University Press (BUP), and co-edited by Andy Hodder and Stephen Mustchin. The first book in this series, Cecile Guillaume’s monograph ‘Organising Women: A study of gender equality policies in French and British trade unions’, was published last year. A second volume ‘Labour Conflicts in the Digital Age’ by Donatella della Porta, Riccardo Emilio Chesta, and Lorenzo Cini is currently in press and will be published later in 2022. Further texts are under contract and scheduled for publication in 2023. If you would like to discuss a proposal of your own, then please email the series editors. We look forward to hearing from you.

As part of the ongoing relationship between BUIRA and BUP, BUP will be attending the conference. We have also managed to get 50% off Business, Management and Economics books published by BUP for the duration of the BUIRA conference – use the code BUIRA22 between 28-30 June at the BUP website check-out.

As some of you may know, a BUIRA published book has been in the works, and pre-dates our contract with BUP. An edited text entitled ‘The Value of Industrial Relations’ will be published by BUIRA later this year (editors Andy Hodder and Stephen Mustchin).


2) BUIRA Elections.

In May 2022, we opened calls for nominations for 4 vacant positions on the BUIRA Executive Committee via the BUIRA newsletter. As was noted in the call for nominations, all members were encouraged to apply regardless of career stage (i.e. early career or otherwise). However, we strongly encouraged women and black and minority ethnic members to apply for these positions, as they remain to be under-represented in BUIRA. We noted that following the motion passed at the 2019 AGM in Newcastle, to ensure the Executive Committee has an equal gender balance, at least two of the vacant positions must be filled by individuals identifying as female.

Four candidates put themselves forward for nomination: Yvonne Rueckert, Margaret Prior, Xuebing (Jack) Cao, and Gregor Gall. Rather than running an election, as there were four positions available, the Stewards and Executive Committee decided to present these 4 candidates for approval at the AGM to commence three year terms as members of the EC.


3) BUIRA Fellows

As agreed at the 2020 BUIRA AGM, the Birmingham Stewardship Team have introduced BUIRA Fellows. Calls for nominations were sent in BUIRA newsletters. To launch the BUIRA Fellows, the BUIRA Stewards and Executive Committee nominated 8 individuals. 1 nomination was received from the membership. As per the terms agreed at the 2020 AGM, the Executive Committee approved all nine of these individuals to become Fellows of BUIRA.


Thus we are pleased to present to the membership the first BUIRA Fellows. We hope that many more members can be nominated in future years.

  • Greg Bamber
  • Linda Clarke
  • Paul Edwards
  • Anne-Marie Greene
  • John Kelly
  • Miguel Martinez Lucio
  • Sian Moore
  • Mel Simms
  • Mark Stuart

Andy Hodder

BUIRA Secretary

Reader in Employment Relations, University of Birmingham

June 2022


Treasurer’s Annual Report to BUIRA AGM, 23 June 2022


Analysing the accounts from 15 June 2021 – 15 June 2022, BUIRA made an operating profit of £9500.45 This includes some imbalanced conference income and expenditure, and stripping this out for the last two months of the period, the surplus was £5806.42. This includes one off expenditure of £3090, the second and final payment for the design and implementation of the new website, therefore the underlying surplus could be considered to be £8896.42.

Expenses for travel and meetings related to the running of BUIRA and local symposia continue to be minimal and considerably lower than pre-pandemic levels. This may increase in subsequent years with increased mobility and travel to events and meetings, but is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Membership income is down on the previous two years. This is particularly the case for Stripe payments rather than longstanding direct debits and standing orders to the bank account. In 2019-20 total membership payments were £12613, in 2020-21 – £11397, and in 2021-22 – £10253.82. This last figure will not reflect new conference related memberships taken out after 1 June, as that was the last date that Stripe made a payment into the bank account. Stripe currently estimates that the next payment will be £10,682.45 which will be made up of memberships and conference fees. The hope is that returning to an in-person conference in 2022 will stimulate memberships of both PhD and full-members with a number of new attendees converting into long term members. There is also the intention that BUIRA can become a more active focal point with the website providing much greater flexibility to showcase recent work, debates and events, and with the potential to provide access for members to recordings of curated conference and event material.

As the conference is something of a relaunch for an in person event, the Stewards and Executive took the conscious decision to keep the cost of attendance low -£190 for full members and £70 for PhD students, subsidising the PhD conference and subsequent social event. We also invited stimulating keynote speakers, paying for travel and accommodation of speakers for the two nights of the conference. The intention is for the event to break-even, Birmingham Business School has kindly contributed to costs in terms of paying for internal catering during the day, and does not desire a payment for any surplus generated. We hope that it will be an academically stimulating and enjoyable event and a springboard into Bristol’s stewardship.

This year’s audited accounts, after consultation with our accountants, will run until the end of March 2022. This will mean that all future accounts running April to end of March will contain all annual conference income and expenditure in one period rather than having it spread over two financial years, as is currently the case. This will make it easier to understand BUIRA’s financial position at each AGM.

Summary of income and expenditure, June 2021 – June 2022:


Individual Subs direct into bank account2519
Stripe Membership payments7940
Stripe conference fee payments9980
Subs refunded including Stripe fees283.72
Exec meeting expenses0
Annual conference expenditure5010.69
Local Symposia0
Domain charges336.60
Website development (final payment)3090
Social media0
Accountant fees168
Bank charges0
Academy of Social Sciences600
Stripe fees on conference payments170.23
Stripe fees on membership payments205.18
Surplus excluding conference5806.42


The bank accounts are also in a strong positive position. As of 21 June, the current account held £8,510.90, having recently pre-paid conference expenses in addition to those accounted for above. The savings account held £103,050.78.

Many of the ideas which the Birmingham stewards initially had for spending down savings were hampered by Covid and the disruption and uncertainties which this created. Online symposia do not cost much money to run! It is a significant sum, but it is not large enough to commit to ongoing support for PhD scholarships for instance. We believe that supporting ECRs is key to the future of BUIRA. Finding ways to use our savings which creates lasting benefit to the Association is a nice challenge which the Executive and incoming Stewards will have.


Paul Lewis


June 23, 2022


Membership officer’s report


23 June 2022


During my time as BUIRA membership officer, I have been overseeing the BUIRA database and corresponding with members to ensure that memberships are renewed and making changes to details in the subscriptions database when requested by members.


The adoption of the new website has meant that we now have a new ‘database’, although it no longer exists so much as a database but rather as a list of paid-up subscribers on the website’s subscription section. As a result we have some lost some data fields (phone number, institutional affiliation, academic status/rank, and research focus/interest). We also have less capacity to distinguish between different types of membership (in particular, the PhD members and the Associate members are now both combined in a the same (lower cost) category – which in the database comes up as a phd member). We may also have lost some members due to the transition, as we were unable to transfer the direct debit status for members when we did the transition, and so we rely on members re-setting up direct debit when they come to renew their membership for the first time via the new website. Most of this transition work is hopefully now close to completion, especially as the conference has prompted many members to engage with the new website.


We currently have 261 fully paid up members as follows:

164                      Full members
91                        PhD members (incl. associate members)
15                        Honorary Members

270                      All Members

This is how this compares with earlier reports since I’ve been membership officer:


Full membership174172200164
PhD members56629191 (incl. associate members)
Associate members171318
Honorary members14141515

David Bailey

(BUIRA Membership Officer)



Events and Conference Officer report

23 June 2022


BUIRA Annual Conference 2022 – Birmingham

Coming back from maternity leave in January 2022, much of my role has focused on organising this year’s upcoming BUIRA conference, taking place in Birmingham. With the help of colleagues, it has involved creating of this year’s programme along, liaising with speakers and attendees, dealing with logistics and organising hospitality and catering during the day and the two conference dinners on 28th June and 29th June. I’ve also been planning the doctoral workshop dinner on 27th June 2022.

We currently have a total of 130 registered attendees for this year’s conference:

Full price: 90

Reduced price: 32

Free: 8

Thank you especially to Max Everett for helping us with this event.

It has been a steep learning curve, and there have been many challenges along the way in planning this event. Covid has certainly not made this any easier. When budget and time is limited, it’s a mammoth task. I raise my hat to all previous conference organisers (or rather raise my fist in solidarity!).

I am happy to support the new stewards in Bristol with any questions they might have.


Genevieve Coderre-LaPalme

Events and Conference Officer


Communication Officer’s report


We have transitioned to a new WordPress website https://www.buira.net/ . Not only does the new website have a more modern look it can also be easily edited and updated by the steward team and retains most of the functionality of the old website (conference submissions, membership sign-up, events, news etc.) while adding a members area and forum. There have been some teething problems with the transition to the new website and I apologise for any inconvenience over the last few months. The creation of a new website is a major endeavour for a voluntary organisation such as BUIRA which lacks paid staff to manage such projects on a daily basis. Hopefully, most of the teething issues have been ironed out and the handover to the new comms officers will be straightforward.


As the newsletter previously functioned via the old website we have had to implement a new process for the newsletter and we now use Mailchimp for all of our electronic mailings. However, a major issue has been that many institutions operate highly sensitive spam filters on their outlook accounts, meaning that the newsletter has frequently ended up in people’s junk. This was even the case for some members after I created a ac.uk account to act as the sender address. If you’re not getting the newsletter, please check your junk folder and whitelist the newsletter – hopefully if enough people do it Outlook will realise that BUIRA is not junk! (if it’s not in your junk folder and you’ve subscribed please email me). Although this is not ideal, I’ve not been able to find a way around it (but I’m no expert so if you have a suggestion, please let me know). Currently, we have 361 newsletter subscribers this is around double what we had previously as we are now interpreting GDPR in a more lenient manner. Around 50% of subscribers are opening the newsletter (the last newsletter was opened by 153 individuals and on 9th of June it was opened by 179 individuals) ­– which is probably more than under the old process but we have no way of checking.


The BUIRA Twitter account has 1,816 Followers which is an increase of 702 since February 2021.


The BUIRA Facebook profile has 289 likes and 303 followers this is an increase of  26 likes and 26 followers since February 2021.


Please send us your events, research, news, etc. We are very keen to highlight the work of our membership via the newsletter, Twitter, and the website – we now have a section for research on the website but we rely on you telling us what you’d like promoted.

Alex Wood

Communications Officer