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UCU workload survey 2021 - take part today

Excessive workloads are an issue that affects members across post-16 education. Staff working across further and higher education, in adult education and in prisons, are faced with ever-increasing demands and ever-decreasing resources. Pandemic-related changes in working practices have increased demands even more. The UCU workload survey examines the size and intensity of workloads across the sectors, as well as how and why they are changing. 

The survey is open to UCU members and non-members, will take around 25 mins to complete, and respondents can enter a prize draw for 5 x £50 vouchers.

Please click here to start the UCU workload survey.

It's your time - UCU workload campaign 2018

It's your time - UCU workload campaign

4 October 2012

Rising workloads - linked to job and funding cuts and the increasing intensity of work in post-16 education - are a growing problem. UCU is committed to campaigning to control workloads and tackle performance management strategies and occupational stress and bullying in the sector.

Staff in higher and further education work on average more than two days unpaid each week. Workload is unmanageable and unsustainable for most staff. UCU piloted a new approach to tackle workload issues in 2017/18. A UK-wide workload campaign was launched at UCU Congress 2018 in Manchester.

The UCU workload campaign uses a joined-up approach - incorporating health and safety, campaigning and organising elements. Branches using the model are building capacity, developing collective bargaining strength, and resolving local workload claims.

UCU's workload campaigning also uses the results for individual colleges and universities of our biennial workload survey to highlight particular areas of concern related to stress and workload, and to encourage local negotiation with employers to tackle these issues.

We also hold regular UCU anti-stress and bullying weeks which act as a focus for raising awareness and an opportunity to include these issues in local campaigning and joint negotiations.

It's your time - workload campaign poster Campaign materials

Branch resource pack

It's your time - workload campaign poster [313kb]

It's your time - workload campaign leaflet [199kb]

It's your time: UCU workload campaign overview [139kb]

It's your time: legal rights and employer duties [119kb]

It's your time: flowchart illustrating the UCU workload campaign [23kb]

It's your time: checklist 1 - the branch workload team [122kb]

It's your time: checklist 2 - structures [123kb]

Health & safety factsheet: joint working groups [49kb]

Workplace inspections

Health & safety factsheet: workload inspections [46kb]

UCU workplace inspection employer notice template: workload [50kb]

UCU workplace inspection notification leaflet on members workload [65kb]

Workload inspection stress management report form - change [97kb]
Workload inspection stress management report form - control [97kb]
Workload inspection stress management report form - demands [97kb]
Workload inspection stress management report form - relationships [97kb]
Workload inspection stress management report form - role [97kb]
Workload inspection stress management report form - support [97kb]

Useful information

University of Liverpool code of practice on stress in the workplace [499kb]

Sussex Coast College workload working group terms of reference [18kb]

TUC and HSE guidance on implementing the stress management standards

Health and safety resources

Useful information and resources for both members and activists covering many aspects of workplace health and safety: Health and safety resource centre

Organising and campaigning resources

These are designed to help you, our branch officers and representatives, to build our union at branch and local association level.

UCU is a democratic organisation reliant to a large degree on the large-scale participation of its volunteer members. How effective we are as an industrial force and professional body, protecting our members, depends on how well our participatory structures work: Build The Union

The materials available here will help you to run an effective campaign.

Local bargaining resources

UCU has produced detailed guidance to assist branches and local associations in negotiations at local level. These are available in our local bargaining section.


UCU workload survey 2016 - results by institution

See also: Workload protection

HE workload protection: local negotiating guide [162kb]

An example of a simple HE workload calculator: HE workload calculator [33kb]

A copy of the England FE national agreement on workloads: Guidance on regulating working hours in further education colleges, Nov 09 (England) [275kb]

Excessive workloads poster [42kb]

Stress poster slideshow Stress

UCU survey of work-related stress 2014 - summary of findings, Nov 14 [160kb]

UCU FE stress survey 2014 - report [2mb]

2012 UCU stress survey

Anti-stress leaflet - don’t wait until you are at breaking point [48kb]

'Workplace stress' leaflet [86kb]

'Workplace stress' poster - pressure gauge [358kb]

'Workplace stress' poster - head in hand [405kb]

'Workplace stress' poster - blood pressure [114kb]

'Workplace stress' poster - pile of papers [203kb]

'Workplace stress' poster - with doctor [108kb]

'Stress is a workplace hazard' sticker [20kb]

Anti-bullying & violence

Robust management or bullying?
Some employers accused of bullying often claim that it isn't bullying, it is simply a robust managerial approach; and that in an academic environment, staff should be able to deal with that by argument and debate. This simple questionnaire should help you test if your employer is a bully or merely 'robust': Robust management style or bullying? - UCU factsheet [131kb]

'Ban bullying in education' leaflet [108kb]

'Workplace violence - don't ignore it' poster - male [74kb]

'Workplace violence - don't ignore it' poster - female [67kb]

Bullies are a workplace hazard - poster [122kb]

Cyber-bullying is a workplace hazard - poster [77kb]

'Staff notice: this is no place for' poster [151kb]

Bullies - don't let them get away with it poster [33kb]

No entry for bullies - poster [65kb]

No entry for bullies - poster 2 [90kb]

Hazards poster encouraging women to become safety reps

See also:

Workload protection

Discrimination, bullying and harassment

Health and safety resource centre

Last updated: 11 January 2022