January 2022 ASOS Changes

New ASOS terms were received yesterday from HQ.

They are as follows:

  • working to contract
  • not covering for absent colleagues
  • removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action
  • not rescheduling classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertaking any voluntary activities. 

The major change here is the addition of not rescheduling classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action. This was not added onto the previous terms on the premise that staff could reschedule sessions, but that doing so would take up time. Management would have to then decide what duties would not be done in order to accommodate the rescheduled teaching. Whilst this might in principle have been a good idea for full time staff (work allocation should be a management concern, not a worker concern), it proved very difficult for part time staff who felt unable to push back against requests.

That being said, Martin Atkinson has reassured UCU that there will be no punishment for staff who do not reschedule sessions, in line with Kent’s HR policy now stemming back a number of years. There are a number of reasons why this might be and you can take your pick based upon your level of cynicism: no time in calendars to facilitate rescheduling, no wo/man-power available to do the rescheduling, or goodwill gestures by management who know how stressed workers are.

Traditionally our management has also not enforced a policy where class materials are lifted from previous years to facilitate teaching during industrial action in favour of removing references to this content in assessments. However, we recommend that members still remove this content from Moodle anyway – just to make sure.

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