Times Higher Work-Life Balance Survey


How is Your Work-Life Balance?

Good or bad, let your voice be heard. The survey is completely confidential.

Click here to start the survey


A Timely Reminder

1400471963-800px (1)Holidays and Research & Scholarly Activity

Welcome back to all UCU members. It’s the time of the year when you might like to plan ahead for your holidays and research time. Here is a reminder of some of the rights that we have in relation to holidays and time off for research and scholarly activity.


  • The annual leave year begins on 1 September each year.
  • Full time annual leave entitlement is 37 days. In addition there are 8 statutory bank holidays, plus local discretionary holidays when the University is closed in the interests of efficiency.
  • Annual leave accrues on a pro-rata basis during the year at the rate of 3.1 days per completed calendar month for full time employees irrespective of the actual number of hours worked.
  • The timing of your holidays is subject to the agreement of your manager.  Subject to the organisational requirements of the University, you may request that up to 6 weeks of your normal holiday entitlement be taken in one continuous period, and such a request will not be unreasonably refused.
  • Wherever possible, detailed holiday schedules for individual lecturers will be made as soon as reasonably practicable after the beginning of each academic year; in determining holiday schemes, special regard will be given to lecturers with family responsibilities and those who wish to attend conferences or courses that are held in normal holiday periods.
  • Up to 5 days unspent leave may be carried forward by agreement and taken within the first 4 months of the next annual leave year. No payment can be made in lieu of any period of unspent leave except where the employment relationship is terminated.
  • On termination of employment your entitlement to accrued holiday pay shall be calculated on a pro-rata basis up to your final day of service.  Where more days holiday has been taken than your accrued entitlement the University is authorised to make an appropriate deduction from your final salary.  Payment and deductions will be made on the basis of 1/260th of annual salary for each day’s leave.

Research and Scholarly Activity

  • As part of your duties, you will normally be expected to engage in research and scholarly activity.  The nature and extent of this will vary with the nature of the subject(s) you teach and the full range and balance of your duties and other commitments.  In this context, ‘scholarly activities’ includes the production of books, contributions to books, articles and conference papers, and is to be construed in the light of the common understanding of the phrase in higher education.
  • While it is in the nature of research and scholarly activity that it may take place throughout the year and be integrated into the overall pattern of your activities, it is envisaged that normally the period(s) of the year outside normal teaching weeks (clause 4 “Working Year”) and your holiday entitlement (clause 8 “Holidays”) will primarily be devoted to research and scholarly activity. (see your own contract, but this period amounts to 148 hours or 4 weeks, and there is an expectation that this time will be taken in blocks of e.g. one or two weeks rather than single days. )
  • Your research and scholarly activity will be principally self-managed.  In addition, these activities (and their relationship with your other duties) will be considered as part of the staff appraisal and development system, under which objectives for the coming year (or other appropriate period) can be set and achievements over the past year (or other appropriate period) can be assessed.  The University undertakes to give you such support as is reasonable in the circumstances in order to help you to realise the objectives so set.


Know Your Contract

For further information and interesting key points about your contract, see here

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns you can join UCU here and contact one of our reps.

To Walk In Your Shoes

Doors Open @ 12pm
Introduction by BME Network and Guest Speakers @ 12.30
Play begins @ 1pm-2:30pm
Q&A Session @ 2:30pm
“There is no immigration because we are all human. If a British person can be an ex-patriot in Africa, then we are all ex-patriots here, seeking a better life”.
Compiled from real life interviews with asylum seekers and refugees living in the North of England, ‘To Walk In Your Shoes’ explores the side without a voice. With stories from Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea and recounting their experiences living in the UK, the play explores the strength and resilience of the human spirit and challenges the myths and untruths perpetuated by the media.
To book your ticket please email Regional Administrator Rachael Munro-Fawcett rmunro-fawcett@ucu.org.uk
( play not suitable for under 12’s)

UCU Reports Pay Rises For Uni Heads

cash1-300pxUniversity Heads Average Salary £277834 (Up 2%)

University heads received an average salary package of £277,834 for the academic year 2015/16 – an increase of 2% on the previous year and 6.5 times the average pay of their staff, according to a UCU report released today. During the same period, staff received a pay increase of just 1%.

  • Fifty-four vice-chancellors took home more than £300,000
  • Eleven VCs were paid more than £400,000
  • Vice-chancellors spent an average of £7,762 on flights. Two-thirds of flights (65%) were taken in business or first class in 2015/16. Twenty-two vice-chancellors flew exclusively in first class or business class
  • Vice-chancellors spent an average of £2,982 on hotels in 2015/16
  • A third of universities (35%) said that they provided accommodation for their vice-chancellor
  • The average expenses bill was £1,150
  • Eight (5%) universities did not respond to the union’s FOI request and five (3%) used exemptions to refuse to answer all questions
  • Only a quarter (40 out of 159) provided unredacted minutes from their most recent remuneration committee meeting – where the pay of the vice-chancellor is decided

Read the news article here

Find the stats for individual institutions here

Conversation and Cake


How Are You Feeling?

You are cordially invited to a meeting for collegiate, collaborative conversations and cake!

Open to all UCU members and those thinking of joining

Oastler Building OA6/10, Wednesday 5 July, 2.15 – 4.15

Please drop in to say hello, meet other UCU members and have an informal conversation about what concerns you, what you would like to happen at the University, how you can become part of a community which is supportive and welcoming – or anything else you would like to talk about. Tea, coffee and yummy cake all for FREE!!