From education to employment

Recent Survey Reveals that Lecturers are Working too Much

A recent online study by the University and College Lecturer’s Union (NAFTHE) reveals that 69% of lecturers are working an average of eleven unpaid hours of overtime as week. Indeed, 35% of respondents reported that they work more than eleven hours of overtime each week without any compensation.

The online survey polled 1138 university and college lecturers from across the UK, revealing a disturbing picture of the workload of further and higher education workers in this country. The dedication of these workers is supporting and extending the practice of colleges and universities but is negatively affecting the health and personal lives of UK lecturers.

Lecturers Working 24 ““ 7?

Lecturers reported that they consistently work through evenings and weekends in order to satisfy the demands of their workload, overtime that they are rarely compensated for. This overextension reportedly leads to feelings of exploitation and fatigue, affecting the lecturers” personal lives and, in some cases, their health. An overwhelming 94% of respondents said that their workload affects their family and personal lives, while 87% claimed that their work had a negative affect on their health.

Supporting The Students

This strained work environment may be affecting lecturers” ability to offer adequate support to students. 87% of respondents claimed that they were under so much strain they were unable to offer the kind of support their student’s deserved, negatively affecting the experiences of students in further and higher education.

Employers seem to be generally perceived as unsympathetic to the plight of lecturers. The survey revealed that 69% of managers failed to ensure that workers” hours complied with the Working Time Directive, which sets a safe limit of 48 hours of working time per week.

This situation is, by all accounts, unsustainable; lecturers need the kind of support that will enable them to continue to work effectively for the benefit of their students and institutions. Undoubtedly this will require a re-evaluation of the unfavorable work environment they are currently experiencing.

Nadine Monem

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