Mustafa Turus London 13

Health Check and Workload at City and Islington College

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Support not more monitoring and pressure: Stop the ‘Health Checks’.

Teaching staff across City and Islington College have moved mountains to ensure that our students continue to receive the education they deserve. At a time when many are looking after their children through home schooling and taking care of sick members of their families, staff are doing all they can to meet the needs of their students.

Despite putting their physical and mental health at risk they have continued to go the extra mile to help their students reach their goals.

Since the second lockdown was announced staff and management have worked together in unison to keep CIC going throughout the public health crisis. Staff are pleased to be working with a CEO who has put in place a willing and able policy, which recognises the difficulties and extreme pressures that staff are working under.

It has, therefore, come as a shock to staff that management have just announced that there are to be ‘Health Checks’ carried out in every department across the College. The declared aim is to provide support to those staff who are struggling and to share best practice.

The vast majority of staff do not and will not see the ‘Health Checks’ as supportive. Managers forcing themselves into online lessons to show ‘support’ will only create further stress and raise anxiety. Some staff are suffering physical and mental health problems. The ‘Health Checks’ will lead to these problems being exacerbated.

Whilst it is not the intention of management to put staff well-being in danger there are serious negative consequences for such measures being implemented in the context of a pandemic that has so far claimed 113,000 lives.

Where there are staff who are struggling with working online there are many other ways to ensure that they get the support they need to be able to perform their teaching duties as creatively as possible. Management recognise that the vast majority of students are very happy with the education they are receiving. It has been through the goodwill of staff that their education has been delivered.

By going ahead with this universally unpopular policy at this time will put into serious question staff continued goodwill and could colour staff/management relations for years to come.

We call upon the CEO and the SMT to rethink their decision and work with staff on ways to ensure that everyone feels that they can do their best to rise to the challenges that the period presents.

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