Excessive Workload Assignments

The issue of excessive workload assignments has been raised by members in at least one unit who feel the burden of the institution’s financial concerns are being shifted onto the backs of members.

More than a decade ago, USFA negotiated an article entitled Guidelines for Assignment of Duties (article 11.5 in the Collective Agreement). The article allowed academic units to determine their own workloads, recognizing widely varying methods of instruction and missions of our many units.

Some units that have not taken the opportunity to write such guidelines have found themselves in difficult straits when teaching assignments or research expectations have been unilaterally increased by their unit leader because there is no workload standard to serve as a reference point. Additionally, arbitrators are not overly sympathetic to tenured academics arguing they did not define workload standards because they were fearful of rocking the boat.

Whether or not you are facing the problem of a unilaterally increased workload, if you do not have workload standards in place, this would be a good time to write some up.