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May 14th, 2012:

UWE Ballot for Industrial Action

UCU announced this week that the branch at The University of West England will be balloting its members for industrial action over the use of a non-agreed workload model. The newly implemented Workload Model has caused great concern among the staff since it was brought in across the whole University in 2011/12 . Staff allege that a poorly conceived model is also being unfairly implemented with some staff being allocated as much as twice the work of the previous years and others less than previously. 

Comments from the staff in a survey organised by UWE committee members include:

 “So far I am on 880 “bundles” and still adding to it.  The allocation for some of my work is totally unrealistic. […] I keep hoping something is going to be done about it but when and by whom I have absolutely no idea any more.  I’m completely exhausted, fed-up and there’s no end in sight.”

 “The workload model cannot take account of research and scholarship requirements of our role as academics. I am over 20 contact hours per week, with some weeks reaching 26. This is an increase of 100% from three years ago.”

 UCU Regional Official for the South West Nova Gresham said:

 “Industrial action is always a last resort but negotiations have been ongoing for two years, without the kind of progress that would satisfy members and guarantee a realistic and achievable workload.  This kind of mechanistic and inflexible approach is not the way forward.  I hope that the stance taken by members at UWE will encourage other branches to challenge unfair workload models.  The rush to productivity cannot be done at the expense of our members’ health and welfare”.

 The ballot will open on 18 May and close on 6 June.

See UCU National Website News