The results of the survey were circulated a couple of weeks ago. The two most striking points from the survey: workload is up, health of staff is down. Staff have been forced out — the euphemism here is early retirement — and their work has to be done by those left; administrator numbers have been cut, technicians are also fewer (try getting your computer fixed now), teaching hours are up. Unsurprisingly less than half the staff describe their general health as good, whereas 3 years ago nearly all staff felt well. Now significant proportions of staff have sleep problems, are exhausted, anxious, feel helpless. For many the stress is intolerable. Staff are unhappy. The general view is that the senior management at Kingston are detached from the staff and seem unable to recognise the impact this is having on our students, our bread and butter. Management is obsessed with money and squeezing more from the overburdened workforce.
What of the future? How long will this go on before the management realise the damage they’re doing, how long until Kingston reaches the point at which it cannot recover? Well Ratty? Are you a complete fool or will you stop your persecution of the staff while you still have a viable university? Or will you continue fiddling down the path of the dictator until your regime collapses about you, our own academic Nero? By then it will be too late for the beleaguered staff.
Kingston’s own staff survey is due out shortly. We’ll see what gloss this callous and incompetent vice chancellor puts on it.
Most of the UCU survey’s respondents came from SEC and FASS. In future staff in B&L may be keener to make their views known following the efforts of their local dictator, DaDooRonRon, the man from the land of windmills with flailing management skills.