January 23, 2007

Defending quality

Comment: Defending quality - Academics must guard against losing their voice

By Sally Hunt, Tuesday January 23, 2007, The Guardian

'...Defending quality means putting our arguments on workloads, pay and insecure employment in the wider professional context of the encroachment on academic freedom, diminishing control over curriculums, deskilling of academic-related jobs, threat of marketisation, and a growth of corporate, not collegiate governance...'
Nice words... and then Sally goes on to explain in detail everything except for the 'growth of not collegiate governance'. There are no specific references to workplace bullying in academia.

Some rough figures: It is estimated that 14-16% of the British workforce experiences workplace bullying. In a union with a membership of over 100.000, this translates to over 14.000 members...

None of the two candidates for General Secretary of the new University and College Union (UCU) - Roger Kline and Sally Hunt - have made any explicit references to workplace bullying in academia. The closest we have got to is 'growth of not collegiate governance' - it doesn't sound too bad.

It is bullying Mr Kline and Mrs Hunt, it is bullying...


Anonymous said...

This continuous union neglect of an endemic problem in universities is falling behind press exposures, see for example Times Higher 22/29 2006 'Staff report regular bullying'at Sheffield Hallam University, in addition to extensive evidence of unacceptable staff stress levels.This article deserves further circulation on this site, not least given that the senior management there with no sense of shame were recently were crowing about an 'Employer of the Year' award from the same Times Higher whilst trying to conceal the scale of their levels of stress and staff harassment.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon said...

Do you have a copy of the article? We would like to make it available on this blog.

Anonymous said...

You can get a copy of the article on bullying at Sheffield Hallam on the Times Higher website, archives, searching for- staff report regular bullying- Phil Baty- december 2006. The senior management tried to hide this report for nearly a year until the local UCU branch served a Freedom of Information Order on the senior management to force disclosure.The Vice-Chancellor then tried to claim that publication confirmed how 'seriously'her management team were addressing the issues!