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Recent UCU stress and bullying surveys . Stephen Court UCU senior research officer NIACE & UCU conference 1 February 2011. HSE approach.

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recent ucu stress and bullying surveys

Recent UCU stress and bullying surveys

Stephen Court

UCU senior research officer

NIACE & UCU conference

1 February 2011

hse approach
HSE approach
  • Health and Safety Executive management standards ‘define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work-related stress are being effectively managed and controlled’
  • The Management Standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and well-being, lower productivity and increased sickness absence.
hse approach1
HSE approach
  • http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/index.htm
  • ‘The first stage in dealing with any problem is to accept that there is a problem that needs to be addressed’
  • ‘ensure a clear understanding of the Management Standards approach’
  • Record, monitor, review
hse indicator tool
HSE Indicator Tool
  • HSE Management Standards Indicator Tool
  • 35 items within seven stressor subscales (we sub-divided ‘support’)
hse stressors
HSE stressors
  • Demands include issues like workload, pace of work and working hours.
  • Control measures levels of autonomy over working methods, pacing and timing.
  • Peer Support encompasses the degree of help and respect received from colleagues, whereas
hse stressors1
HSE stressors
  • Managerial Support reflects supportive behaviours from line managers and the organisation itself, such as feedback and encouragement.
  • Relationships assesses levels of conflict within the workplace including bullying behaviour and harassment.
hse stressors2
HSE stressors
  • Role examines levels of role clarity and the extent to which the employee believes that her or his work fits into the overall aims of the organisation.
  • Change reflects how well organisational changes are managed and communicated within the organisation.
ucu survey
UCU survey
  • Online survey April-May 2008
  • 61,000 members contacted by email; 14,000 respondents
  • 3,190 were employed or principally employed in FE
  • 9,740 were in HE
  • 60 were in prison education
  • 1,280 did not identify sector
demands
Demands
  • “I have to work very intensively”
  • 1=low well-being; 5=high well-being
  • Further education 1.93 (low)
  • Higher education 1.97
  • Prison education 1.98
demands1
Demands
  • “I am pressured to work long hours”
  • Further education 2.69
  • Higher education 2.73
  • Prison education 3.21 (high)
demands factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Demands: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • In order not to disadvantage my students, I work close to double the hours I am paid for (FE lecturer)
  • I work in a prison education department for a college and trying to reconcile the demands of the prison regime and the college/LSC contractual expectations is very difficult (PE manager
control
Control
  • “My working time can be flexible”
  • Further education 2.64
  • Higher education 3.79
  • Prison education 1.76 (low)
control1
Control
  • “I can decide when to take a break”
  • Further education 3.13
  • Higher education 4.09 (high)
  • Prison education 2.00
control factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Control: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • I am most stressed by the lack of opportunity or flexibility to innovate in my teaching (FE lecturer)
  • ... our manager has no idea on how to approach members of staff and is taking taking over the running of their respective areas, we do not feel that the courses that we are to run are ours, no ownership at all (PE teacher)
managerial support
Managerial support
  • “I can talk to my line manager about something that has upset or annoyed me about work”
  • Further education 3.31 (high)
  • Higher education 3.27
  • Prison education 3.16
managerial support1
Managerial support
  • “I am supported through emotionally demanding work”
  • Further education 2.61
  • Higher education 2.67
  • Prison education 2.28 (low)
managerial support factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Managerial support: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • Shouting at staff in the presence of other members of staff and students is not professional and causes stress (FE lecturer)
  • Line Manager [in college] is very demanding and does not understand the concepts of education in HMPs (PE manager)
peer support
Peer support
  • “If work gets difficult, my colleagues will help me”
  • Further education 3.41
  • Higher education 3.21
  • Prison education 3.07 (low)
peer support1
Peer support
  • “I get help and support I need from colleagues”
  • Further education 3.70 (high)
  • Higher education 3.50
  • Prison education 3.45
peer support factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Peer support: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • I work in a department with extremely fractured and dysfunctional relationships between staff members. This is dispiriting to be around, and it often interferes with the progress of my own work (FE lecturer)
relationships
Relationships
  • “I am subject to bullying at work”
  • HE: Never 51% Sometimes 17% Always 2%
  • Further education 4.09
  • Higher education 4.19 (high)
  • Prison education 3.68
relationships1
Relationships
  • “There is friction or anger between colleagues”
  • Further education 3.07
  • Higher education 2.98
  • Prison education 2.34 (low)
relationships factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Relationships: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • Bullying is accepted as normal practice to talk about colleagues behind their backs, instead of discussing any problems one perceives directly (FE lecturer)
relationships factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration1
Relationships: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • students in prison environment can have a bullying attitude to staff - especially females - and to other learners; having to watch they are not stealing things is stressful; the fact that they - and sometimes other staff - smoke throughout the workplace although this is not actually allowed; prison environment generally very physically unpleasant; no breaks except lunch (PE teacher)
slide30
Role
  • “I know how to go about getting my job done”
  • Further education 4.02
  • Higher education 4.08
  • Prison education 4.22 (high)
slide31
Role
  • “I am clear about the goals and objectives for my department”
  • Further education 3.49
  • Higher education 3.37
  • Prison education 3.28 (low)
role factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Role: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • Shifting goals and unclear expectations combined with heavy workload (FE lecturer)
  • lack of communication between management and staff, causing insecurities with job roles and responsibilities. unsure of what is required (PE teacher)
change
Change
  • “I have sufficient opportunities to question managers about change at work”
  • Further education 2.61
  • Higher education 2.82 (high)
  • Prison education 2.50
change1
Change
  • “Staff are always consulted about change at work”
  • Further education 2.14
  • Higher education 2.32
  • Prison education 1.96 (low)
change factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
Change: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • We are currently undergoing the 3rd merger in 4 years. Another round of restructuring leading to insecurity and unclear direction from senior management (FE lecturer)
change factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration1
Change: Factors which make a significant contribution to stress or frustration
  • 2006 - complete change of students & therefore of courses delivered. [change] ... to new employer 2007 - Inspection from hell while line manager off sick 2008 - Restructuring so re-applying for our jobs The pace of change has, therefore, been much too fast, coupled with uncertainty & insecurity (PE teacher)
what measures would you like to see taken to improve your working life
What measures would you like to see taken to improve your working life?
  • Further education
  • improved communication with management
  • to be able to work flexibly
  • a reduction in contact hours to enable more time for planning, preparation, marking, research, paperwork, learner support
what measures would you like to see taken to improve your working life1
What measures would you like to see taken to improve your working life?
  • Prison education
  • more involvement in decision-making
  • improved working facilities
  • decent break times
  • internet access
more ucu info
More UCU info
  • Stress reports
  • http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2382
  • Health and safety resource centre4242
  • http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2132
ucu negative behaviour at work survey 2008
UCU Negative behaviour at work survey 2008
  • November 2008
  • Included the Negative Acts Questionnaire
  • 75% of respondents were involved in teaching
  • 48% in FE
  • 44% in HE
  • 5% in adult education
  • 3% in prison education
definition
Definition
  • Negative Acts Questionnaire
  • “We define bullying as: a situation where one or several individuals persistently over a period of time perceive themselves to be on the receiving end of negative actions from one or several persons, in a situation where the target of bullying has difficulty in defending him or herself against these actions. We will not refer to a one-off incident as bullying.”
experience of bullying
Experience of bullying

Respondents working in further education were more likely than those in higher education to experience workplace bullying.

41% of respondents in FE, and 34% in HE, reported having been bullied at work in the preceding six months.

long term experience
Long-term experience

52% of FE respondents, and 54% of HE respondents, reported having been bullied at work in the preceding five years.

73% of respondents in FE and 67% in HE reported seeing bullying at work within the preceding five years.

derogatory comments
Derogatory comments
  • 23% of respondents in further education said that over the preceding six months, they had at least ‘now and then’ received derogatory, personal comments on student course-evaluation forms, compared with 26% of respondents in higher education.
website comments
Website comments
  • 2% of respondents in further education, and 5% in higher education, said that over the preceding six months, they were aware ‘now and then’ of personally derogatory comments about them on student websites.
e mail
E-mail
  • 3% of respondents in further education, and 13% in higher education, said that over the preceding six months they had received derogatory, offensive or bullying e-mail from students ‘now and then’.
violence
Violence
  • 10% of respondents in further education (2% HE) said that over the preceding six months they had experienced violence or physical abuse ‘now and then’ and 2% said they had experienced violence or physical abuse monthly.
making a complaint
Making a complaint
  • Of those in further education who had experienced any form of bullying at work, 69% had not made an official complaint about it, and 31% had.
response to complaints
Response to complaints
  • Of those in further education who reported any form of bullying from individuals employed by their institution, only 26% said the response of their institution to their complaints was fairly or very good; 52% said the response was bad or very bad.