ABUSE OF EMAILS AS A PUNITIVE MANAGEMENT TOOL
ON THE INCREASE
Teachers are being swamped by a deluge of work-related emails sent in holidays, evenings and weekends, which is adding to their workload and causing stress and distress, representatives at the Annual Conference of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, have argued.
A recent survey conducted by the NASUWT revealed that nearly one in five teachers had received a stream of bullying and demanding emails from senior colleagues.
An instruction to NASUWT members only to send and respond to work-related emails during directed time forms part of the Union’s ongoing campaign of action short of strike action.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The reports from teachers painted an unacceptable picture of harassment and intrusion into their personal time, which was causing them stress and distress.
“Read receipts are frequently being used as a mechanism to check up on teachers. In some schools, any unopened email, regardless of what time it was sent, is followed by a classroom visit from a senior manager questioning why the email has not been answered.
“We even had an example of all teachers at one school receiving an email from a Deputy Head at midnight on New Year’s Eve reminding them that they had data to produce for their return to work.
“This practice is just another example of the growing incidence of management bullying in schools.
“So extensive was the abuse of emails that the NASUWT action short of strike action instructions make specific reference to teachers refusing to answer emails outside working hours.”