Work and Careers Survey - University job security not what it used to be
University corridors are no longer a traditional haven of job security, however a gender divide continues to infiltrate the university workplace, extensive new research has confirmed.
The Work and Careers in Australian Universities Survey also shows that heavy workloads are a concern for academic staff.  Over half the sessional teaching staff would like a continuing academic job, but believe they have little chance of getting this.
“The data gathered in this study will help to inform and shape the future of the Australian university sector as it engages with a new wave of change, triggered partly by electronic advancements and emerging opportunities in online education,” Professor Glenda Strachan from Griffith Business School said.
Almost 22,000 members of staff at 19 Australian universities were surveyed, making it the most comprehensive and revealing survey of its kind to date. Three key groups were surveyed from August to December 2011: Academic staff, Professional and General staff, and Sessional Teaching staff.
“The work positions of almost half of those surveyed can be described as insecure, with fixed-term contracts starting to take over from continuing positions,” Professor Strachan said. “Traditionally, universities have been regarded as places of job security and that seems to be changing.”
Professor Strachan teamed up with fellow Griffith researchers, Professor David Peetz, Associate Professor Janis Bailey and Dr Kaye Broadbent, and with Professor Gillian Whitehouse from the University of Queensland as chief investigators on the ARC Linkage Grant project.
“An ongoing pattern of gender segregation was observed for all university workers and across disciplines. We found women are less likely than men to reach senior and management positions,” Professor Strachan, deputy head of Griffith’s Department for Employment Relations and Human Resources said.
“We can say that professional and general staff in university are highly credentialed. The majority want to remain employed in the university sector and progress in the university sector, but many don’t think they are likely to get to a position they believe they are qualified to hold.”
Professor Strachan described the survey as “important and timely” and highlighted its extensive reach. “Whereas previous surveys focused solely on academic staff, this study also takes into account the views of the general and professional staff that make up such a significant proportion of the workforce.”
See key findings here: Work and Careers Survey Executive Summary 2012.
he full report can be downloaded from here: Work and Careers Report on Employee Survey 2012.