Statement of Grievance
The following template letter is provided to assist members in a grievance relating to the recent changes to probation regulations. Please feel free to use but do amend according to your individual circumstances.
Petition against unfair changes to the Probation Procedure (this petition is now closed)
Queens UCU have adopted a petition which has already been signed by many staff in one school. It is open to all academic and research staff objecting to the way in which academic staff on probation are being managed in relation to the new unagreed Academic Standards. This can be signed on-line at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/qub-probation-petition or if you prefer you can download a hard copy and ask colleagues to sign it in your area.
The closing date for the petition is 5.00 p.m. on 18th January 2016 and we strongly urge you to sign it.
Students Evaluation of Teaching - Do students know what’s best for their own learning
Answers in this article from "THE CONVERSATION"
Support for working class education and OU staff
West Mids REC joined OU staff on the picket this morning at Harborne in Birmingham - the midlands are out today in part of rolling regional strike action as staff stand up for working class education against the closure of 7 out of 9 regional centres and around 500 job losses. The attack on the OU goes hand in hand with the ongoing failure to effectively fund FE alongside the potential loss of jobs and student places coming from area reviews - it is part of a wider closing off of access to education for working class people.
Please send a message of support to members to Martina Gibbons at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven't already signed the petition, it is here
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)
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.
Students, why we strike
Students: read here to know why your lecturers are taking industrial action