Workload / Training budgets / staff development / invest in University staff

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Conference
2018 Higher Education Service Group Conference
Date
19 September 2017
Decision
Carried

Workload issues in the sector are becoming all too commonplace. For many UNISON members working in the Higher Education sector means facing up to an unrealistic and ever increasing workload as this has now become the norm.

An excessive workload has devastating impact on staff morale, health and wellbeing. For many it will lead to stress, anxiety or depression and worthlessness. While many universities continue to make staff redundancies and not fill vacant positions it means that those that remain working are doing so because they have no other way of providing for themselves or their families. For many it is not a case of getting paid overtime, but a case of unpaid overtime.

A recent UNISON survey on workload issues has revealed that excessive workload is posing a serious health problem from anxiety to stress. Excessive workload is a major concern for the union as members are adversely affected with seeing their health affected.

Training is vital for management to understand the health issues relating to excessive workload. The employer must set aside a budget that will help them secure high quality training for those employees who have responsibility for health safety and wellbeing of staff.

A good employer will invest in its staff and will ensure that employees are not doing too much unpaid work or that vacancies are filled expediently with employees with the right skills set and training. Individuals should have a choice of working paid overtime and not carry a heavy work load to save on overtime payment.

Every employee should be able to benefit from staff development and not straggle behind because of an excessive workload.

This conference calls on the Higher Education Service Group Executive to

1)Implement a campaign to raise the issue of workload with employers;

2)Make workload a key negotiating issue that can be organised and recruited around;

3)Devise and use a joint national survey to gather evidence to present to the employer and publicise using social media and other internal / external publications.