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SDR’s : I work 1548.  AWAM is NOT DEAD!

Management confirmed that the AWAM can still be used and we urge all members to insist on an AWAM in order to protect their workload.

Some Field leaders however have insisted on allocating staff work without bothering to work out the overall workload. This is clearly unacceptable to UCU. In addition it is also contrary to the recent joint statement between us that made a clear commitment to full and meaningful negotiation and, even more seriously, attempts to undermine, without discussion, a level 2 negotiated agreement that management signed up to called the AWAM. This form of an agreement overrides the national agreement and takes the form of a local agreement. It takes into account the notion of a maximum of 550 hours teaching but also includes all of the other work that we as academics are required to do. Activities such as: Module Leadership, Programme Leadership and most of all sizes of classes that vary so much between fields are taken into account by the AWAM.  All fair and reasonable work is allocated using an agreed allocation model. This is exactly what the AWAM ensures.

Although spread sheets are often unwieldy and complex tables to get to grips with the AWAM is straightforward once you are familiar with it. It acknowledges that there are six areas of work allocation that require some allowance in order to achieve fairness and equity across the university as a whole. Unfortunately none of the existing Deans nor some Field Leaders  have ever been involved in any form of training for the AWAM and have little understanding of its principles.


1. Scheduled Teaching activity or Contact hours: based on a maximum of 550 (note we already have this built in)

2. Teaching related activities: such as preparation lab work, Marking, Module admin, Module Leadership, Personal tutorship. (noticed we never allowed for email contact with students)

3. Academic Management and Planning: such has Field Leader, Programme Leader, Quality Leader and the massive amount of work involved in admissions clearing and programme development.

4. Research and Income Generation: this is the least understood by management and perhaps is crucial to the increase in income that might be necessary from 2012. This includes income generation grants and external contracts. Knowledge transfer partnerships and grant applications. Allowances here are only for active researchers.

5. Staff and Institutional development: all staff must develop and engage in personal development. Even though this might not lead to PhD’s or Research grants we all must keep up with our specialist areas.

6. Finally all staff have since 1992 been able to claim 180 hours for personal development. This is for definition solely by the individual and might be used to move into new areas or fields.

It is very clear that the AWAM is much fairer and extensive than portfolio based models andh as agreed and fixed allowances for all activities. UCU remains willing to re-negotiate these allowances but it is clear that this is a fair and equitable system that can be applied across the University as a whole. Some areas such as Education might have specific differences with the type of courses and their structure but allowances can be negotiated and agreed. Having an appropriate workload allocation model is also an equality issue.

Management have stated very clearly that staff can still use the AWAM model in their negotiations over their SDR’s. It is a time to stand up for your rights and be very strong in their defence. It is essential to be treated in a fair and reasonable manner.


  •  We strongly advise all of our members to insist on having their SDR’s and allocations based on the AWAM.
  • Do not give in to bullying.
  • All members will get the full support of UCU.
  • Not to agree to work over 1548 without some recognition that this is over allocation.
  • Sign the petition that will be coming round and wear your ‘I WORK 1548 badge’ which you will receive when you sign the petition.
  • We will fully support all Field Leaders and members who support this position

For details on how to fill in your AWAM please ‘right-click’ on Guide to the AWAM and choose ‘Save target as’

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