Survey of academics finds widespread feelings of stress and overwork

Posted in Research on February 29th, 2020 by steve

“Many people imagine universities to be calm and relaxed places of work, populated by academics who have long holidays, small workloads and obsessions with obscure subjects. But our new research paints a very different picture …” (more)

[Mark Erickson, Carl Walker and Paul Hanna, The Conversation, 28 February]

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The consequences of overtime in Dutch academia

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2020 by steve

“Today, I joined three colleagues to head to The Hague to hand over a report of 720 formal complaints of structural overtime in academia and its negative consequences to the Labour Inspectorate. These complaints were filed as a single collective complaint by two labour unions, on behalf of WOinActie, the activist group of academics that tries to improve working and learning conditions in academia …” (more)

[Ingrid Robeyns, Crooked Timber, 20 January]

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At Printing House Square, Trinity is Sucked Into a Labour Fiasco – Again

Posted in Governance and administration on August 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“For years now, Trinity has faced criticism for the way it treats its staff, with its preference for temporary contracts even drawing a warning from the government in 2017. This week, the College had to answer fresh questions about the conditions for workers on its campus, when the Dublin Inquirer reported that plumbers working on the Printing House Square project had been illegally underpaid by a subcontractor for almost 10 months …” (more)

[University Times, 4 August]

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The Future of Working Time

Posted in Research on November 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“‘A four-day work week could lead to greater productivity and wealth.’ Dr Aileen O’Carroll, Chair of the IFUT Maynooth Branch, spoke at an international conference held on the 22nd November 2018, organised by Fórsa, which explored emerging trade union demands for a move towards a four-day week as standard over the coming years …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 29 November]

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We must stop universities exploiting the unpaid labour of PhD students

Posted in Governance and administration on May 4th, 2018 by steve

“In universities, it’s common for teaching, demonstrating, marking and other academic work to be done by postgraduate students studying towards their research degree. It’s a win-win: vital career experience and extra cash for students, and an important source of labour for universities. But what should be a mutually beneficial role too often takes the form of exploitative, casual and poorly paid work …” (more)

[Guardian, 4 May]

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Trinity staff seek WRC mediation on change to working conditions

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on May 1st, 2018 by steve

“Academic staff in TCD are seeking intervention by the Workplace Relations Commission to mediate a solution on proposed changes to the academic year and holiday arrangements that will seriously impact on time available for research work. The changes, part of the new Trinity Education Project, impact on holiday arrangements and affect staff represented by IFUT, SIPTU and Unite unions …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 30 April]

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Lecturers to take action over ‘unsustainable’ burden of work

Posted in Governance and administration on April 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Lecturers in institutes of technology have voted in large numbers to begin a campaign of industrial action over ‘unsustainable’ workloads. From next September, lecturers who are members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland say they will cease working an additional hour a week, on top of their weekly norm …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 19 April]

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TUI members in Institutes of Technology vote to engage in campaign of industrial action over second ‘flex’ hour

Posted in Governance and administration on April 19th, 2018 by steve

“Members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) in the Institute of Technology sector have voted overwhelmingly in a national ballot (by a margin of 96% to 4%) to engage in a campaign of industrial action over unsustainable workload …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 19 April]

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Trade Union Celebrates ‘Landmark’ Agreement Between Universities and Staff

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 14th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Working conditions for lecturers are set to improve significantly, as the Department of Education and Skills confirmed plans to address long-standing issues with part-time contracts. Today, formal agreements have taken place between the Irish University Association (IUA) and the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), which will aim to address these concerns …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 13 March]

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TUI News Ballot Special

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This ballot concerns the proposed TUI, DES and THEA Agreement, May 2017, on Technological Universities. If members vote to accept the proposed agreement, the current industrial action (that is, not to cooperate with any merger activities relating to the proposed Technological Universities) will be suspended …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 30 May]

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Technological Universities: Agreement with TUI

Posted in Governance and administration on May 25th, 2017 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the details of the deal he has reached with a union (details supplied) regarding the Technological Universities Bill 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 23 May]

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Third Level Staff – Trinity College

Posted in Governance and administration on March 2nd, 2017 by steve

IrelandBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on recent plans announced by the board of Trinity College, which will make a secure future or career advancement for many staff an impossibility; the way this might impact on the Government strategy for the third level sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 March]

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Under-managed universities

Posted in Life on March 1st, 2017 by steve

“I have been having some interesting conversations with folks recently about ‘overwork’ in academia. It is clear to me that a lot of professors are absolutely frazzled. It is also clear to me that on average professors work hard – not necessarily because The Man is standing over them with a whip but because as a rule academics are professional and driven …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 1 March]

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Students cross a picket line every day

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I grew up surrounded by trade unionists. I distinctly remember seeing a news report about an industrial action on the news when my mother said: ‘If I ever crossed a picket line, my father would turn in his grave’. Her father, my grandfather, was born in inner-city Dublin, and having helped build the ESB coal burning station in Ringsend, went on to work there for decades as a turbine driver …” (more)

[Daire O’Driscoll, Trinity News, 25 February]

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Third Level Staff – Precarious contracts and poor work conditions

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2017 by steve

IrelandBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the Action Plan for Education will address the increasing use of precarious contracts and poor work conditions and pay in the third level institutions for lecturers and other workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 January]

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‘A study of workaholism in Irish academics’

Posted in Life on September 21st, 2016 by steve

IrelandAbstract. Background: Workaholism is recognized as a health risk for academics given the open-ended nature of academic work; however, current prevalence rates of workaholism in the academic setting are unknown. Aims: To assess the prevalence of workaholism within academics and determine the impact of workaholism on psychological well-being, work–life conflict, work–life fit, job satisfaction and perceived work effort …” (more)

[Occupational Medicine, Volume 66, Issue 6, pp. 460-465 (2016)].


Third-level staff being exploited

Posted in Governance and administration on September 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Following your article on the slide in world rankings of Irish universities, I must admit I find the report entirely unsurprising (‘Irish universities continue to fall in global rankings’, September 6th). No business would treat its staff in the way in which Irish universities currently do, and expect to achieve any degree of success …” (more)

[E Desmond, Irish Times, 9 September]

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‘Normative Isomorphism: Is Irish Academic Work-Life the Same in Different Institutional Types in the Universal Phase of Higher Education?’

Posted in Life on February 3rd, 2016 by steve

IrelandAbstract: Academic work-life in the universal phase of higher education has reportedly involved an extreme intensification and diversification of academic roles. International empirical research supports the hypothesis that academic staff are spending more time at work, are reporting diminishing morale, and are experiencing erosion of their values of academic freedom, autonomy and collegiality. What has not yet been adequately investigated is the extent to which this experience of academic work-life is the same or different depending on institutional type, thus identifying the research problem addressed in this thesis … (more)

[Amanda Moynihan, DIT PhD Theses, 2015]

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‘A Survey of Academic Staff on Working Conditions at Dublin City University’, DCU SIPTU report, just published

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2015 by steve

IrelandForeword I am delighted to introduce this survey of academic staff on working conditions at DCU carried out by the SIPTU Section Committee. As DCU moves towards the ‘incorporation’ of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Mater Dei Institute of Education and the Church of Ireland College of Education it is vital that the union benchmarks staff conditions as change (not always positive) will be the order of the day …” (more, download)

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Young academics: The great betrayal

Posted in Life on August 25th, 2015 by steve

UK“Poorly paid and treated with contempt, the plight of early career researchers in the humanities is the result of a systemic betrayal of a generation of academics, argues Mathew Lyons …” (more)

[History Today, 24 August]

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