Second Extraordinary General Meeting notice, Wed 1 July, 3-4pm, with motion on workload for debate

24 June 2020

This is a second calling notice for our Extraordinary General Meeting next Wednesday 1 July, 3-4pm. Please RSVP.

We have received one motion for debate (see Appendix below): on building a Workload Campaign in the face of the shift to online teaching next Academic Year.

If you would like to propose an amendment, please send it no later than 5pm, Monday 29 June, so that amendments may be pre-circulated in advance.

UCL UCU Executive Committee


Motion: Reducing excessive staff workloads moving teaching online 

UCL UCU notes:

  1. UCL is a self-proclaimed ‘leading International University’ with an annual income of £1.5 billion per year and a financial reserve of £1.4 billion. It has more than sufficient resources to absorb a short term reduction in income.
  2. That staff workloads in UCL are excessive in normal times, with staff frequently working more than their contractual hours. UCL itself recognises that workloads have increased during the Covid-19 crisis, whilst many staff have ongoing personal circumstances that reduce their workload capacity 
  3. The working conditions required to protect staff during the Covid-19 virus increases the time required to complete many work tasks.

UCL UCU further notes the conclusions of leading IOE education researchers (e.g. Laurillard 20061), that:

  1. developing high quality education programmes that can be delivered on line is a time and resource intensive activity. It is not simply a case of moving an existing programme or module ‘on-line’;
  2. on-line learning should not be regarded as a ‘cheaper’ option than face-to-face delivery;
  3. there is a clear risk that inadequately prepared, resourced and supported on-line learning can widen existing inequalities between staff and educational inequalities between students. 
1 Laurillard D (2006) E-Learning in Higher Education. In Paul Ashwin (ed.) Changing Higher Education. London: Routledge Falmer,


UCL UCU resolves to launch a Workload Campaign with the following demands 

  1. Staff must have a meaningful say in decisions about workload planning for the 2020-21 Academic Year from this point on.
  2. UCL must support staff in removing low priority work from workloads (e.g. by streamlining unnecessary performance and accountability reporting work). 
  3. UCL must instruct Faculty and Department managers to allow staff to prioritise their own workloads in relation to the priority given to ‘teaching online’.
  4. UCL must hire additional staff and pay staff overtime where necessary. 
  5. UCL must allow staff to carry over annual leave in full to the next year if required.
  6. UCL must guarantee staff sufficient time in future to complete other non-teaching-related tasks that may have to be delayed in order to prioritise moving teaching online
  7. UCL must ensure that departments are given the necessary finances to support the move to on-line teaching.