Workload and stress

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.

UCU's workload campaigning uses the results for individual colleges and universities of our biennial occupational stress 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. We also launched a ' Workload is an Education Issue' initiative with the support of the National Union of Students.

Campaign materials

Branch resources

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

Stress as an industrial injury: how UCU members can put their experience on the record [124kb]


UCU workload survey 2016 - results by institution

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

See also:

A copy of the England FE national agreement on workloads:

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: 30 May 2018