ACTION REQUIRED: Protecting your research time

Many of you will have now seen the University’s proposal (available here) to cut staff time allocated to research across the institution. At present the institutional average is 29% of time allocated to research for staff with significant responsibility for research. Under the University’s proposal, time allocated to research and scholarship will reduce to a base allocation of just 10%, with an additional 10% for staff identified as having significant responsibility for research.

This means you will be spending more time on teaching/marking and less time on research/scholarship. Less time for research and scholarship means more time for teaching and, therefore, fewer hands needed on deck to deliver our programmes. This will make it easier for the University to make you redundant in the next round of redundancies.

Understandably, the UCU Committee are receiving horrified feedback about this. In many areas of the University, QR money gained through research is a net contributor to the University’s budget (although that picture is not shared across the board, and there is a need to support areas to grow their QR income, rather than punishing everyone across the board). We should be growing research income, not stymying it across the institution.

Our advice is:

  1. The single most important thing that you can do now is to return your ballot paper and vote ‘yes’ for industrial action. “No detriment to WAM” and “no detriment to allocation of research and scholarship time” are key pillars of our ongoing dispute with management (a copy of which is available here). A ‘yes’ vote with over 50% turnout to defend your research and scholarship time is absolutely critical for negotiations so that we can pull the University back from the brink and convince management not to further undercut the University’s income. If necessary and as a last resort we will also have to be prepared to fight to defend our research and scholarship and to defend the University’s income.
  2. If you have not yet received a ballot paper, request a new one here.
  3. Let us know when you have posted your ballot paper by filling in this quick form.
  4. Please consider volunteering to help our ‘get the vote out’ campaign by calling and writing to your colleagues; let us know here whether you can help.
  5. Complete this survey to be passed on to management about your views on the proposed changes, before 8 March.

Defending your research and scholarship time (and, by extension, your job security) depends upon you. The UCU Committee cannot do this on our own. Post your ballot urgently and let us know as soon as you have done this. There is talk of legal challenges. The law grinds slow and fine. Only your collective and urgent action will defend your research and scholarship time and your job security, so please help us to defend your working conditions and to defend the University’s research income.