This week was the anniversary of the death of our colleague Malcolm Anderson, who sadly took his own life on 19th February 2018. Many of you will have seen the BBC’s report into workload and stress that was screened on Wednesday night. It includes a moving interview with Malcolm’s widow, who describes the impossible workload that Malcolm was trying to manage, and how it pushed him too far.
For those who have not seen it, the report is available on the BBC’s website and on YouTube.
Staff in Cardiff Business School (CARBS), where Malcolm worked, continue to fight against unmanageable workloads and in November carried out a survey of academic staff in CARBS whose workload is allocated through the Workload Allocation Model. The survey was designed by the CARBS Workload Group and the UCU Workload Health & Safety team and provides evidence requested by the University Workload Governance Group to support staff claims of excessive work demands.
The report of its findings is now available:
Cardiff UCU has been negotiating and campaigning to get the unworkable and unrealistic Workload Allocation Model reviewed for years. Last year, the University finally listened, and many of you took part in a series of useful workshops run by Cardiff Uni’s Tina Blomme.
The upshot of this is a new, big, review of the workload model involving a number of Task and Finish Groups, as well as further staff focus groups to monitor and feed back on the process. It’s all outlined in Blas.
It might seem frustrating that the outcome of last year’s consultation is yet more consultation, but we’re making real progress here, and we need to keep up the pressure to humanise the workload model.
- Volunteers (those who already participated in last semester’s focus groups, but also those who didn’t) to sign up for these academic focus groups – having rank-and-file UCU members on these will be highly important (please read the info on the intranet, and get in touch with Tina Blomme by Jan 25th to sign up); and
- Some more-expert/experienced members to volunteer to be the named UCU reps on the more substantial Task and Finish groups also outlined in the Blas story (get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to express an interest in this).
As part of our Workload Campaign, we are holding another training session on the morning of Wednesday 5th December for those who were unable to attend the last session.
Adam Lincoln from UCU Head Office in London will be coming to Cardiff to run a half-day introduction to the role of the workload rep., and how we can use our rights as trade unionists (particularly under Health and Safety legislation) to take action in support of manageable workloads. The training will provide you with the skills and information needed to help us take the next step in our campaign to take back our time.
To find out more, or book on to the training, please contact the branch office.
As part of the next steps in our Workload Campaign, we are holding a training session and campaign meeting on the afternoon of Monday 5th November.
For the training session, Adam Lincoln from UCU Head Office in London will be coming to Cardiff to run a half-day introduction to the role of the workload rep., and how we can use our rights as trade unionists (particularly under Health and Safety legislation) to take action in support of manageable workloads. The training will provide you with the skills and information needed to help us take the next step in our campaign to take back our time.
We will follow this with a Campaign Meeting, to plan the next steps of our workload campaign here in Cardiff. After the meeting we would like to encourage everyone who can (& would like to!) to join us in going for a drink and/or some food locally.
Both events will take place on Monday Nov 5:
- Training session: 12pm-3pm (with lunch provided)
- Campaign Meeting: 3:30pm-5pm
If you are interested in attending but have not yet put your name forward, please email the branch office at email@example.com and let us know for catering purposes. If you are interested but can’t attend on this occasion let us know, we will hold further events in the future.