Victory at Charles Sturt University on overwork
The NTEU victory on overwork at Charles Sturt University attracted television coverage on both Seven and the Prime Network on 29 August: http://au.prime7.yahoo.com/n4/video/-/watch/30432510/uni-staff-overworked-no-more/
At a conciliation hearing in Wagga with Commissioner Riordan last week, CSU management was forced to accede to NTEU demands on academic workloads.
Agreement was reached on a number of matters that had been the basis of the dispute:
- strict adherence to the quantitative cap in the 2010 enterprise agreement
- provision of documents to all staff regarding transparency and equity on workload allocations at the School level
- equivalence in workload allocation between distance education (often online delivery) and internal teaching, and
- cessation of the practice of over allocating, with the responsibility for finding casual assistance no longer resting with academics.
In the end, CSU management agreed to all aspects of the NTEU case, with a recommendation from the Commissioner to provide a six week completion period for the eight reviews with a progress report to him after three weeks. Members can nominate an alternative arrangement as well as workload reduction, such as extra conference or research or administrative assistance, equivalent to 2011 and 2012 over allocation.
The campaign on overwork had its basis in the NTEU CSU 2011 Annual Survey which revealing that 58% of academics were being overworked to the point of illness. The survey also revealed that 57% had suffered deterioration in family relationships, due to excessive workloads and work related stress.
A staggering 94% of surveyed academics said they frequently work more than their regular weekly hours, with 87% frequently working weekends. The survey also found 58% of respondents reported teaching workloads that breached the new workload regulations contained in the CSU Enterprise Agreement.