05 August 2019

Many modules

It was a innocuous email but it had quite an effect on my mood. The school secretary sent a list around with who was responsible for what module, and what degree programme. And I knew I would feature heavily on it! I am responsible for six modules and teach on six more. And that is much. But now I could compare with other people. And that might be a bad thing (the grass is greener!). But also a good one (better negotiating position if you have the data). And there wasn't anything to negotiate; I had made clear in my annual review I thought I had too much work but my line manager had not seen room to reduce it. But still! I couldn't resist checking who had what.

The results were disheartening. The only person with a comparable workload was my colleague Dei; he had either five or eight modules, depending on how you count. The three you could question are modules of which someone else is the general organiser, but he is responsible for the Welsh language component. So he doesn't have to do things such as design assessments or deal with timetabling or any of that. I don't know how much work these are for him! And we tend to only have one or two Welsh-speaking students per year. I hope they are a doddle as eight modules is silly.

Aside from Dei, my comparable colleagues (the teaching-only ones) had between one and four modules each. The one module man is a bit of an outlier as he is a maternity replacement, so he has to do everything from scratch. And one colleague with three modules only works 60% so she has five modules FTE, so to speak. But still! Having two or three times as many modules as equivalent colleagues stings. I'm sure that doesn't mean I do two or three times the work; the two-module colleague has a rather heavy admin duty. But would that be as much work as four modules? I doubt it.

I felt a bit low after I had let the numbers sink in. What to do now? I have just had my PDR, and even though I did not say 'I have way more modules than my colleagues' but 'I have way more modules than I want to', the general feeling is the same. If he felt able to lift my burden I suppose he would have. He would, wouldn't he? And he has a reputation for being a micromanager so I don't think he doesn't know how the modules are distributed. I'll have to ponder this!

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