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.
The workload campaign 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.
- publication of the stress survey results by FE college and HE institution relating to workload demands and hours of work
- publication of the stress survey results by FE college and HE institution relating to bullying
- publication of the stress survey results on control and managerial support at work, with individual FEC and HEI data
- publication of data on stress and workload in prisons.
We also hold a UCU anti-stress and bullying week which is a focus for raising awareness and an opportunity to include these issues in local campaigning and joint negotiations, and have launched the ' Workload is an Education Issue' campaign in FE and HE, with the support of the National Union of Students.
As well as posters and stickers to help publicise 'UCU Anti-stress and Bullying Week', we also have leaflets for staff on what to do if you're experiencing problems at work with either stress or bullying - find these resources below.
- Find out more about bullying and harassment and about UCU resources here
- Stress as an industrial injury: how UCU members can put their experience on the record [124kb]
- Find out more about the toolkit for tackling excessive workloads in further education here: Excessive workloads: UCU further education toolkit [887kb]
- Find out more about higher education workload protection here
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]
A copy of the England FE national agreement on workloads can be found at
For further advice on the agreement
See also: Health and safety resource centre