See here for the latest news from UCU, especially the Spring term national industrial action over USS pensions and the ‘Four Fights’ (Pay, workload, precarious contracts and equalities).


This branch recently assisted members during the restructures in TDC and Student Development

Here is the final briefing document

Student Development – Final Structure Briefing Document – 1 May 2019 (003), which contains a record of the consultation, a summary of 28 items of feedback from UCU and others, and management responses.

Appendix 1 – TDC Workplan April-Sept 2019

Appendix 1 – Workload Modelling 18-19

Student Development – Workload model and distribution of tutor roles – Final version – 12.04.2019

SAMT concerns:

UCU put in a  formal claim to stop use of SAMT student evaluations in staffing decisions in mid-October. Here is the compelling summary of the relevant research on this: SAMT Report which motivated our claim. Initially, the Uni responded by setting up a Task & Finish group to address it but refused UCU representation on it. Then UCU got invited to the table at the last minute! This campaign is ongoing…

Here is the memo from HR advising that individual academics may choose not to submit SAMT scores in their application for permanence or promotion

Do you own your research?

We’re continuing the fight for default academic staff ownership of copyright in our own research publications and data, which University policy currently claims in the University’s name, contrary to custom and practice.

But we win this one…

Senate Papers: After several years’ campaigning by UCU, the practice of restricting Senate documents to Senate-members-only (introduced by the current administration) has been rolled back. All staff can now see Senate business, meeting dates etc. at We’re glad senior management have seen the light and we look forward to further examples of increased workplace democracy at the University. Browse freely & tell us your thoughts!

Mental health provision update:

Following summer discussions over changes to mental health provision at Essex, UCU organised an all-staff meeting on 7 Nov, moderated by Nic Beuret. There was lively discussion, criticism and suggestions from members, staff and students. We have also been consulted on plans for future MH provision across the University, and have fed back concerns raised by many members.