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College staff set to strike in workload dispute

14 June 2017

Lecturers in UCU at Coleg y Cymoedd, have balloted for industrial action to end excessive workloads and to protect learners' education.

The action was strongly supported by lecturers with 93% of those who voted in favour of industrial action. UCU members at the college are already working to contract and will escalate their dispute with a day of strike action on Thursday 15 June.
UCU Coleg y Cymoedd carried out the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) stress survey  last year and found that in key areas urgent action was needed by College Management to safeguard lecturers' health. These issues included demands placed upon staff, such as unachievable deadlines and long working hours; lack of support from managers' and lack of consultation over changes at work. Members' most urgent concern was ever-increasing workloads over and above normal teaching, marking and preparation.
The recent Education Workforce Survey carried out on behalf of Welsh Government, reported similar findings and indicated that almost 60% of lecturers who responded stated that they were unable to effectively manage their workload within their contracted working hours.

Despite several months of negotiation, the UCU branch and the Senior Leadership Team at Coleg y Cymoedd have failed to agree adequate systems for balancing lecturers teaching and non-teaching workloads. Such systems are essential if staff are to cope with the ever expanding non-teaching duties expected of them, and still maintain the quality of students' learning experience.
Strike action is planned to take place this Thursday 15 June and will affect all four Coleg y Cymoedd sites in Caerphilly and RCT.