The benefits of managing Cardiff University:

In October 2019, Cardiff UCU submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to the University on “fringe benefits” incurred by, applied to or otherwise associated with, members of the University Executive Board and University Council. The FOI request was made after the University refused to provide this information.

These “fringe benefits” include, but are not limited to, provision of or financing towards accommodation, vehicles or transport services, IT equipment (except where directly associated with post-holders’ university offices), and mobile phones (and associated running costs such as contracts or other incurred charges).

After some pursuing, we finally received this information last week. You can access the University’s response here. It makes an interesting read and we will explore it further and keep you posted on any developments.

3.  Time = Money: Fight against the institutionalised Time Theft
Thank you to those who participated in our recent survey on workload. The results confirmed what the last 3 University Staff Surveys have found: the majority of staff are unable to fit their workload into their contracted working hours. The UCU workload survey helps us to understand the extent of the time theft – and as time is money this also constitutes money theft – that has been institutionalised in our University.

We asked respondents to estimate their average weekly working times (taking the whole academic year into account) and the results are as shocking as they are unsurprising:

Average weekly working times  < 35 h  36 – 40 h  41 – 45 h  46 – 50 h  > 50 h
Number of Responses  16  57  72  46  35
Average Annual Overwork  None  107h or
3 weeks
 321h or
> 9 weeks
 536h or
> 15 weeks
 750h or
> 21 weeks
Theft in Salary Assuming Wage of £20/h  None  £2,140 per   year  £6,420
per year
per year
 > £15,000
per year

In short:

  1. only 16 out of 226 respondents suggested that they work within their contracted hours and most respondents work between 41 and 45 hours per week.
  2. If we translate this into hours of overwork, those working 41-45 hours per week work about 9 weeks a year for free, which is far more than the usual annual leave allowance.
  3. If we translate this into money and we assume an hourly wage of £20 (roughly the hourly rate of mid-Grade 6 contracts), this stacks up quickly to substantive sums. Those overworking by 10-15 hours per week ought to have earned over £10,000 per year more than the University actually pays them.

We have presented this table to the UEB and suggested that part of the short-term solution is to put workload tariffs on an empirical footing so that they reflect roughly the actual time it takes to prepare lectures, to mark essays, to deal with personal tutees and so on. We eagerly await their response.