Workload Allocation Model (WAM):

Still on the theme of Time Theft, our workload representative Martin Weinel attended the latest Workload Allocation Model (WAM) Governance Group meeting, at which Colleges’ Pro-Vice-Chancellors (PVCs) provided feedback on the state of workload data.

The PVC for the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences admitted that there are problems in collating data, ensuring equal workloads and sharing workload data with members of staff, but he indicated that staff ought to have their own workload data and at least some indication of what the average workload is in their School.

The PVCs for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering and for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences claimed that every single member of academic staff covered by WAMs will have been given their own workload data and at least an average Workload value for their School.

Could you please take a few seconds of your time to answer five ‘yes or no questions’ letting us know the situation in your Schools? Please click here to access the questions. Thank you.

Workload Survey:

If you have not already completed the request for evidence that we sent on Monday, please could you do it now. The purpose of this survey – which should take less than 10 minutes to complete – is to inform the upcoming meeting between the three unions and the university’s senior managers in January 2021 to discuss workload.

Your contribution to the survey is entirely anonymous (we ask you some questions about work context at the end) as we will not record any personal information and only aggregated results will be communicated to senior management. To contribute, simply click here.

Please feel free to pass this link on to non-unionised colleagues within the university as we would like to collect as many responses as possible. The survey is open until 18 December 2020.

Request for evidence on workload

In January 2021, the three campus trade unions will meet with senior managers in the context of a so-called Joint Partnership Workshop that is supposed to improve the workload situation in the University. While there is ample evidence that workload is an issue and has been so for several years – successive staff surveys bear this out, for example – there is very little evidence that senior managers in this University understand the issues or care enough to do something about them. This survey is intended to improve the evidence-base that we can take into the workload workshop.

Fully recognising the irony of asking you to give up your precious time, we have tried to keep it as simple and as brief as possible. Most questions just require choosing an option or ticking a box, although we have also provided optional opportunities to give us more feedback. It should take less than 10 minutes to complete the survey. Your contribution is entirely anonymous (we ask you some questions about work context at the end) as we will not record any personal information and only aggregated results will be communicated to senior management.

To start, simply follow this link: http://cardiff.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Moa0y8kCwNJ7b7

Please feel free to pass this link on to non-unionised colleagues as we would like to collect as many responses as possible. The survey is open until 18 December 2020.

Workload Reporting:

The current workload policy asks Schools to publish workload allocation information for 2020/21 to individual staff within “reasonable timelines” to support a “more transparent working environment”. As a minimum, the information provided by your School should consist of the number of students you deal with, your total number of teaching contact hours and the titles of your managerial roles. If you are an academic member of staff and your school has not shared this information with you, as a first step you should ask your Head of School or school manager to provide it. If they refuse, please contact your UCU Dep Rep or the UCU office.

Information on Action Short of Strike (ASOS):

The focus is now on Action short of Strike (ASOS) and keeping pressure on Cardiff University by working to contract. Under the ASOS mandate UCU asks members to:

  • work to contract
  • not cover for absent colleagues
  • not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertake any voluntary activities.

It is worth familiarising yourself with the extensive guidance on ASOS on the UCU action centre webpage:

Strike Information for Students

We have a set of slides with information for students (as a PowerPoint which includes notes pages with explanation, and also in a PDF version). We suggest UCU members explain the strike action to their students in lectures and seminars. This helps to encourage student support for striking staff. Continue reading

UCU Strike 2019: Summary of key issues

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at sixty universities in the UK, including Cardiff University, will be engaging in a wave of 8 days of strike action from Monday 25th November to Wednesday 4th December followed by ‘action short of a strike’ which involves strictly working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, and refusing to reschedule lectures lost during the strike action. Continue reading

Historic mandates in Strike Ballots:

The results of the “four fights” and USS ballots amount to an overwhelming vote for industrial action, a clear mandate for our negotiators, and a clear message from staff to employers.

Cardiff UCU would like to thank the small but tireless team of local reps for their work campaigning to get the vote out, as well as our broader membership who voted so convincingly in favour of action to improve our Universities.

We’d also like to apologise to our members for hounding you about voting so regularly for the last month, and to thank you for your patience. It’s essential that as many of us vote as possible, and a steady stream of door-knocks, personal phone calls, and emails are the only tools we have at our disposal to do so.

Nationally, in the pay ballot, a record 55 post-92 and pre-92 branches are in a position to take industrial action, with a higher overall turnout (49%) and a larger yes vote (74%) than ever before. In the USS ballot, 43 branches are in a position to take action, with an even higher yes vote of 79% and an overall turnout of 53%.

At Cardiff, because of your collective resolve we met the punitive, anti-union, 50% threshold in both ballots, with a resounding vote in favour of strike action and ASOS in both too.

Although none of us want to go on strike again, this vote shows that most of us feel the sector needs to change. UCU nationally has called on employers to return to negotiations immediately. In the meantime, the union will plan for the next phase of each dispute. UCU’s higher education committee will meet shortly to discuss the results and consider our next steps, including the nature, timing, and scale of industrial action.

Guardian coverage here.

UCU press release here.

An older, local Welsh news piece which interviews Cardiff UCU activists about the issues underpinning the strike votes is here.

Results of the Cardiff UCU branch vote in both ballots:

CARDIFF UCU PAY, CASUALISATION, EQUALITY & WORKLOADS BALLOT: Turnout 52%

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE INDUSTRIAL ACTION CONSISTING OF STRIKE ACTION?

77% Yes – 23% No

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE INDUSTRIAL ACTION CONSISTING OF ACTION SHORT OF STRIKE ACTION UP TO AND INCLUDING A MARKING AND ASSESSMENT BOYCOTT?

84% Yes – 16% No

CARDIFF UCU USS BALLOT: Turnout 52%

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE INDUSTRIAL ACTION CONSISTING OF STRIKE ACTION?

82% Yes – 18% No

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE INDUSTRIAL ACTION CONSISTING OF ACTION SHORT OF STRIKE ACTION UP TO AND INCLUDING A MARKING AND ASSESSMENT BOYCOTT?

88% Yes – 12% No

The full results for all local branches who voted can be found here