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:
Demand for caseworkers for UCU members remains high. What is particularly noticeable is the number of complaints about the unfair use of fixed-term contracts, zero-hours or nearly-zero hours contracts; reports of bullying; and continuing concern over access to the occupational health service. If you are experiencing any workplace issue that is concerning you, we encourage you to get in touch with Sally in the UCU office on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss it. She can arrange for a caseworker to assist you if you need support. The caseworker will be another UCU member employed by the University, from a different School or Directorate.
If you feel you would like to help by volunteering to join our casework team, please email the office on email@example.com
A group of CU academics from various disciplines has recently formed a new initiative “Re-Thinking the University: Past, Present, and Possible Futures”. The aim of the initiative is to increase the understanding of CU governance structures and to provide a platform to reflect on current governance practices at our university.
For the Spring Semester 2019, the group has organised a seminar series to provide historic and contemporary perspectives on how universities are run. The series will be kicked off by Dr Eric Lybeck (University of Manchester) in A Tale of Two Universities: Critical & Institutional Perspectives on the Civic University on Thursday 28 February 2019, 1-2 pm, Beverton Lecture Theatre, Main Building.
The seminar series is organised independently by CU academics, supported by UCU. For further information on this initiative can be found on the Rethinking the University website.
The UCU Wales office is currently recruiting for a Policy and Communications Officer. More details are on the national UCU website. The closing date is 11th March at 10 am.