Support staff at Barton Peveril Sixth Form College in Eastleigh marked Work Your Proper Hours Day on February 23rd by taking part in a ‘lunch & learn’ event organised by UNISON.
In the days running up to the event staff were encouraged to use the TUC’s online calculator (try it yourself here: https://secure.goingtowork.org.uk/page/content/unpaid-overtime) to estimate the amount of unpaid overtime they put in each year and then report their results via a local survey. The results were revealing, with those responding working an average of £4,000 worth of overtime each year for free!
After enjoying a hot lunch with colleagues, staff heard from local workplace representative Steve Squibbs who emphasised the importance of a collective response to the related issues of excessive workload, stress and unpaid overtime. While the recent focus on wellbeing by some employers should be welcomed, it is also essential to address what is often the root cause of work-related stress – long hours and excessive workloads.
UNISON presented the results of the survey to the College Staff Consultative Committee in March and now hopes to work with other college unions to negotiate a local workload agreement that would establish a framework of support for employees and give practical guidance on reducing excessive workloads.