The scandal of unpaid overtime at GCU and elsewhere

Weekend short posterTeaching and educational professionals are the group of workers most likely to be putting in unpaid overtime and clocking up the most free hours a week, according to figures released by the TUC – and there is no reason to believe GCU is any different in this

The University and College Union (UCU) said the figures, recently released as part of Work Your Proper Hours Day, highlighted how teachers and lecturers continue to go above and beyond the call of duty and put in the extra unpaid mile, despite real-terms pay cuts.

The analysis  reveals that over half (54.2%) of teaching professionals do extra unpaid work each week and, at 12 hours a week, they clock up more unpaid overtime than any other profession.

Last year teachers were the third most likely group to be putting in unpaid overtime, behind finance managers and directors, and research and development managers. While both those professions have seen the percentage of staff clocking up unpaid hours fall, the percentage of teachers working unpaid hours has gone up.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “Most people are putting in extra unpaid hours compared to last year, but even more teachers and lecturers are going that extra unpaid mile. Not only are teachers and lecturers putting in an extra hour a week of unpaid overtime compared to last year, they are also now more likely than any other group of professionals to be doing unpaid work.

“This commitment is all the more admirable considering the insulting real-terms pay cuts their employers continue to offer them. The time has come for universities to recognise the hard work their staff do, reward them fairly and sort out their workloads.

February 28 each year marks the TUC’s Work Your Proper Hours Day – the day when the average person who does unpaid overtime would start to get paid if they did all their unpaid overtime at the start of the year.

Said Douglas Chalmers, local UCU President “Academic unions are in negotiation with HR at GCU at the moment to put together an acceptable and fair workload model. A successful workload model, would correctly acknowledge and regulate the excessive workload facing many staff in our university. After the model has been piloted in several departments, we will again consult with our members for their experiences with this.

Meanwhile we again ask the university management to pressurise UCEA to put a reasonable offer on the table for the new wage negotiation round, which will take into account the unfulfilled demands of the current negotiations. Otherwise there will be no alternative but to proceed with the marking boycott starting 28th April”

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