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Liverpool strike ballot targets action over REF workload

Image: Chowells [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Academics at the University of Liverpool are balloting for strike action because of what they say are unreasonable workload demands related to the Research Excellence Framework.

The institution’s branch of the University and College Union says that all staff on either research-only or teaching and research contracts are required to publish at least four publications with a REF rating of at least three stars (“internationally excellent”) during the assessment period for the 2021 framework, which runs from January 2014 to December 2020.

Those who do not meet this “research policy principles” threshold will be deemed to be underperforming, the union says—something that could ultimately put their jobs at risk.

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