College staff work more than two days a week for free, survey reveals

UCU general secretary blames ‘unmanageable’ workloads for higher levels of stress and job dissatisfaction across the sector

Will Martin

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FE staff work an average of two unpaid days per week, according to a survey released by the University and College Union (UCU) today.

The union's 2016 Workload Survey, which comprises the responses of almost 5,000 members working in FE, reveals that in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, staff worked an average of 51.6 hours a week, with the vast majority of staff (91 per cent) reporting that the pace and intensity of their workloads had increased, and 81 per cent reporting that it had increased significantly.

The survey showed that women worked on average 2.4 more full-time equivalent hours per week than men, with women working on average 52.6 hours per week and men working 50.2 hours per week.

'A worrying picture'

More than three-quarters of all staff (78 per cent) said that they thought that their work was unmanageable at least half of the time. Within this, one third of all staff (33 per cent) reported that their workload was unmanageable most of the time, and one in 10 reported that their workload was entirely unmanageable.

Almost half of respondents (46 per cent) said that the amount time spent marking exams had increased significantly over the past three years.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said: ‘This survey paints a worrying picture of rising workloads, increased admin burdens and long hours. Unmanageable workloads lead to higher levels of stress and sickness and damage the quality of education for students. Colleges need to stop expecting more for less from their staff and address the serious points raised in this report."

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Will Martin picture

Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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