Over the past few years, you (UCU members at the University of Leeds) have regularly told us that workload is your biggest concern. Senior managers don’t seem sufficiently concerned that the average University of Leeds UCU member (in a recent UCU survey) said that they are working over 49 hours per week and we know of several who are regularly working at least 70 hours per week. See the national results of the UCU workload survey.
The university has some things in place for alleviating the symptoms of high workload and stress, such as staff counselling and workshops about stress, but there doesn’t seem to be sufficient focus on reducing the causes of high workload and stress. The university’s own health and safety policy says that they should identify sources of stress and carry out a risk assessment on this stress, in order to implement policies and procedures to reduce it. We have written to the senior management to encourage them to carry out this risk assessment, but it is yet to happen, so we will continue to pressure them to take the steps they should be taking.
Meanwhile, we will be conducting a workload audit on a school basis over the next months. If you think your school has a workload problem, and would like to help us set up an audit there, please get in touch – email firstname.lastname@example.org
We would encourage you all to complete the upcoming People Management Framework survey to give a wider picture of issues around workload and stress across the university.