Queen's UCU

Queen's UCU


Lobby of Senate on Tuesday 24th November at 10.15am to 10.30am Assemble at the front of the University

It was heartening to see so many people at the recent UCU meeting so thank you all for attending. Arising from that meeting it was agreed to hold a lobby of Senate.
We are holding the lobby for a number of reasons:

  1. To protest at the imposition of the new Academic Standards in general and more specifically the grant income targets and the individualisation of these targets. This was done without either meaningful consultation with all of the academic staff and/or negotiation with UCU. These changes represent an un-agreed variation to previous requirements and practice.
  2. To protest at the threat of the Capability Procedure if you do not meet grant income targets.
  3. To protest at changes to the appraisal system which introduced a ‘capability tick box’ and by doing so undermined collegiality and the developmental nature of appraisal.
  4. To protest at the imposed changes to the probation profile for current academic staff on probation to be confirmed in post and the retrospective application of these changes. Once again senior QUB management did not negotiate these changes with UCU and they represent an un-agreed variation to previous requirements.
  5. To protest at the threat of job loss in a number of schools within the University.

It is important that as many people as possible turn up for the lobby and make your voices heard.

However this is not industrial action and you should continue to teach and work as normal.

Take part in the Times Higher Education Best University Workplace Survey 2016

What’s the best thing about working at your university? How do your colleagues and managers make you feel valued? In what areas do you need more support? read more

Start survey

Survey on the New Academic Standards

Report of Queen’s UCU Survey of the Views of QUB Academic Staff on the New Academic Standards. download (.pdf)

DEL  The HE Big Conversation

The Department of Employment  and Learning launched its HE Big Canversation on 15th September 2015.

Download QUB UCU's submission.

Challenge to USS Approach to the Scheme Funding

UCU has produced a document which challenges the USS approach to the Scheme's Funding.

Download (MS word)

Survey on Academic Standards

The University management recently devised detailed standards which apply to the different academic roles within each School. Taken individually, these standards are extremely ambitious, but taken collectively, people will find them difficult, if not impossible, to achieve since individuals are expected to satisfy all of them. This matters because management want these new standards to form the basis for future appraisals, and your appraiser will be required to say whether or not you are meeting them. If you are not, you may be placed in the University’s Capability Procedure which could lead to oral and written warnings and ultimately dismissal.

The management have the view that challenging targets – to use the Vice-Chancellor’s phrase ‘making everyone uncomfortable’ – will lead to improved individual and collective performance. It may do so in some cases, but in others it will sap confidence and have the opposite effect. UCU intend to make representations to the new Faculty PVCs about the targets and various anomalies.  We need your help in order to do that effectively. Please spend a few minutes answering the questions in the attached questionnaire. If possible, please provide additional comments in the boxes provided,  particularly objective information such as the amount of research money available nationally.


Please note that only the officers of UCU conducting this survey will have access to individual questionnaires.  Responses will be aggregated on and care taken to ensure that the identity of individual respondents is not revealed

Proceed to academic standards questionnaires. (These surveys are closed)

Survey on academic freedom

UCU encourages members to respond to a new global survey on academic freedom in higher education. Entitled Safeguarding Academic Freedom in Europe (SAFE), the survey takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Recruitment Drive for UCU Members

We have launched a recruitment drive to attract new members to UCU at Queen’s. Whilst we have a substantial number of members in UCU at Queen’s, we feel that many staff are unsure about what support UCU offers and have not considered joining. The officers involved have worked hard in their own personal time to organise this effort. Over the next few weeks individual hardcopy letters to all staff who are not members of UCU are being sent along with a membership pack and form. These will be followed up by personal contacts in each area. If you know of any colleagues who are not members of UCU, please encourage them to join. They will receive their letters in the very near future.

Invitation to join letter 2014


Advice on pay docking

You can find UCU advice on pay docking on the National UCU site at


If necessary further on advice on local legal issues regarding pay docking will be given.

UCU are urging all those that took part in the two hour strikes to write to their management to complain.

A suggested form of wording has been provided by HQ for this purpose.

Students, why we strike

Students: read here to know why your lecturers are taking industrial action