April 21, 2008

Timing is everything when you are stating the obvious...

On a day that UCU was in court (see: UCU in court) and a major issue relating to academic freedom of expression has been exposed at the HEA - UCU for the time being does not seem to have an opinion on this, what does UCU do? It releases an important report on college staff dissatisfaction. The report itself is worth reading, although there is nothing terribly new. Some highlights:
  • 86% of college teaching staff responding feel they make a valuable contribution to society
  • half do not feel valued by their employers
  • only 22% believe they are rewarded adequately
  • 51% feel they can't achieve a good work-life balance. This compares badly with other workplaces. In the UK as a whole, 66% of employees in all sectors say they can
  • 51% of teaching staff say they're likely to leave FE in the next 5 years
  • less than a third would recommend their college as a good place to work.
And what does Sally say?

'You really have to ask whether talented young people will want to enter, let alone stay, in a profession where dedication and achievement fail to command respect and adequate reward. If the government is not careful, it will find a yawning staffing gap in its skills strategy.

'Learners are very satisfied with their college lecturers. Lecturers deserve the satisfaction that comes from fair treatment, respect and just rewards.

'If the government is not careful... and so we pass the buck to the government after having discovered and stated the obvious when over at THES comments - many from other countries - take on the HEA (a body answerable to Universities UK, i.e. the bosses). What a radical union and how scared HEA must be of UCU! The government is not careful Sally, so what are we going to do about it? Perhaps release another report...


Stuart said...

Perhaps release another report...?

No, let's form a steering committee with a focus-group-led sub-committee to create a participative, stakeholder representative mission statement, with which we can then instantiate some goal-driven policy formation - could have it all up and running in, say, 2011 no sweat.

Or just act now to support the needs expressed by dissatisfied academics - or is that too simplistic?

Anonymous said...

Oh Sally... and at the moment you are all we have...

... while some of us are surrounded (or so it feels)

..... by shifty bastards

.... and colleagues who tremble in the wings

.... while those of us who dare to speak out are

.... slowly destroyed

... come on Sally... get your act together

.... or move over for someone who will....

Aphra Behn