Dear Union members, 

I’m writing to you in my capacity as Workload Representative.  Workload is such an important issue for so many of us, myself included, and I have been asked to attend a meeting on the 2nd December (together with the President and Branch Secretary) at which the University has committed to ‘review the impact of the Workload Planning Principles issued earlier this year (17-07-2020).  While the meeting and policy focuses on academic workload it would be great to get a range of views and thoughts from as many people as possible.
As such, I was hoping to get your views on

  • a) your current workload and its sustainability (or lack thereof);
  • b) whether you are aware of how this particular policy has been implemented in your department and if you have noticed any impact (positive, negative, neutral, other) as a result of this policy;
  • and c) any suggestions you might have for concrete asks and positive solutions we can push for (perhaps particularly including any ‘quick wins’ that we could ask for). 

I plan to make the point that a review of this policy is not enough and we need a review of the SWARM model for multiple reasons, including the burden and unrealistic expectations this places on all, but perhaps most particularly early career, temporary, fixed time and part-time workers.

I will need responses back to me via email by 30th November at the very latest to give me time to read and process.  Any points raised will be done without mentioning people’s names and I will try my best to raise as much as possible during the meeting, although it may not be possible to raise everything that is bought to my attention due to time constraints.

Many thanks in advance – and I do fully appreciate the irony of adding to your workload at this time and realise many people will not have time to respond, of course! 

Thanks Abi

Dr Abi Dymond