Are you drowning in marking? Do you find your workload unmanageable and unsustainable? Are you hourly paid/fractional and constantly doing work “for free”?Do you find yourself answering emails late at night, most nights?Do you feel workload is calculated unrealistically in your department? Are mounting administrative tasks generating dread? No time to talk or socialise with colleagues?
You are not alone!
With universities chasing student numbers; increasingly reliant on casualised workers or those who feel precarious; and pushing at the boundaries of ‘good will’ workload is an increasing problem for many of us. A 2016 UCU workload survey found that staff are working an average of more than two days unpaid every week.
One of the difficulties in addressing this issue, is that it is one liable to make us feel isolated, alone and even inadequate – both at work and in our personal/family/home/ lives. Just recently Diane Anderson, the widow of a university lecturer Dr Malcom Anderson,demanded action be taken on workloadto save families from having their “dad taken away”, after Dr Anderson killed himself – leaving a note behind relating to work pressures and long hours.
We want to call time on this mounting problem of workload by developing a campaign at Goldsmiths to tackle this issue collectively.
In order to build a clearer picture of experiences of workload at Goldsmiths and to take first steps towards addressing the problem, GUCU is holding a branch wide meeting on Monday 3 June, 3pm with Adam Lincoln, UCU’s National Health and Safety Officer who has been coordinating campaigns on this issue nationally and will be able to discuss examples of effective work in this area at other institutions.
Questions for discussion include:
- To what extent is workload reasonable and calculated realistically?
- What are the workload factors which contribute to stress, anxiety and depression?
- How does racism, gender discrimination and inequality impact on our workloads?
- How to we challenge effectively performance of free labour by casualised staff?
- How can we encourage equity and transparency across all departments?
- How can we ensure our hard work is recognised by the college?
Please contact Anna Grant, Workload Campaign Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any responses or examples of workload which you would like to share prior to the meeting, and speak to members in your department to raise awareness of the meeting.