cut & paste this email :
cc: Line Manager
Head of Department
UCU H&S Officers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Line Manager,
I am afraid I cannot take on that extra seminar group/ set of lectures/ dissertation tutees.
I am following the Health & Safety guidance issued by UCU Health and Safety officers aimed at protecting our health and wellbeing in the face of requests now and in the months ahead for additional work to cover for colleagues who have not been re-hired or whose contracts will not be extended.
In recent months UCU Health & Safety Officers have repeatedly raised a red flag on workload and workplace stress to Senior Management in response to the results of two questionnaires based on HSE management standards. Several questionnaires have now shown that 82% of staff have worked beyond their contracted hours and 43% of staff are working over the 48 hour limit set by the working time directive. These facts could place the College in a difficult position, and we are obliged to flag them.
While much goodwill has been in force in the last few months, I’m sure you will agree that we simply cannot carry on like this for much longer. At least 42.9% of staff have ongoing and unpredictable caring responsibilities and have or are developing health issues from too much time on screen and in poor work stations. An overwhelming 66.3% of our colleagues who took the last UCU survey reported physical or mental health issues as a result of these conditions. This overwork is further exacerbated by staff reductions.
It is with all of this in mind, that H&S reps have cautioned with regards to ‘higher and/or suddenly changed workloads” which “risk harming health and safety, equalities and terms and conditions” and have advised that we seek advice in light of any “extra or additional work at short notice”. This is consistent with the Health and Safety Executive’s Management Standards in relation to workload.