Workload motion, 11 January, 2022
This branch notes:
1. Previous disputes over workload
2. Serious concerns over the current scale of overwork and workload-related stress at Roehampton
3. That many branches of UCU, including this one, are currently undertaking industrial action over workloads and that management’s proposal runs directly counter to UCU demands for an accurate, hours-based workload model for all
4. Management proposals for a radically different approach to calculating workload which will be far more vague and thus reduce accountability and transparency
This branch believes that:
1. Workload is a contractual issue as well as a health and safety and equalities one.
2. Senior management has no understanding of the scale of the workload crisis
3. The only resolution will come through employing more staff rather than continually shaving more time off workload allocations
4. Management’s proposed new approach will increase workloads significantly
5. Management’s proposal wrongly categorises some tasks (such as dissertation and project supervision) and thus makes possible breaches of contractual protections for staff.
This branch resolves that:
1. Any new workload allocation system should be based on hours allocated for particular tasks, should include all significant tasks with allowances where this is not practicable and should accurately reflect the time required to undertake those tasks
2. Any workload allocation model should be transparent and have monitoring (within and between Schools) built in
3. Workload allocations should make clear how they conform to provisions of the Academic Conditions of Service, especially the limits of 36 weeks for teaching-related work with 2 additional weeks of teaching-related administration and the requirement for a two-week break from all teaching after 13 weeks
4. If management does not agree to adopt this approach, the UCU Committee will call another Emergency General Meeting to discuss next steps, including declaring a dispute.
NOTE: After voting for this motion, another impromptu vote was taken by members to determine how they wished they UCU negotiators to proceed. A majority of 83% of members present voted to mandate UCU negotiators to withdraw from the negotiations at the next meeting, should management continue to disregard our concerns.