Queens UCU Newsletter
- Unfair Appraisal
- Questionnaire on Academic Standards
- Valuing the Liabilities of USS
- Queen’s and QS World Ranking
Queens UCU Newsletter
We hold local specialist group meetings for members in order to prepare for the corresponding national meetings (see http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=6766) in Eastbourne from Thursday 12th November to Saturday 14th November 2015. The meetings will choose representatives and discuss relevant national and local issues.
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
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.
Read the latest on the USS campaign.
UCU members in Lambeth College have been on indefinite strike action since 3rd June.
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.
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.
UCU HQ has provided answers to questions relating to the Fair Pay campaign
Students: read here to know why your lecturers are taking industrial action