New agreement on working hours at the Faculty of Arts

A new agreement has been reached between the union representative and the management team - it will enter into force on 1 February 2023.

The faculty has now finalised the details of the new agreement on working hours. We have known the outlines of the agreement for some time, and by mutual agreement, the new standard norms for working hours were implemented in the summer of 2022.

There are many questions to consider when defining conditions for teaching, but the exact wording of the agreement is now in place.

It has proven extremely valuable to have Liselotte Malmgart from the School of Culture and Society and Jody Pennington from the School of Communication and Culture take part in the process. Throughout the negotiations, they have provided their in-depth knowledge of the practical application of the agreement.

The biggest changes are:

  • 20 hours will be allocated for the onboarding of new colleagues
  • the number of hours allocated to basic tasks which do not have a standard norm will increase from 20 to 25 per semester
  • the number of minutes allocated to the assessment of written assignments will increase from 4 and 5 minutes, respectively, per page to 6 minutes per page
  • research leave can be granted once every seventh semester
  • the number of working hours will be reset when staff transition from an assistant professorship to an associate professorship, or from a teaching assistant professorship to a teaching associate professorship

In order to find the hours needed to make these improvements, it has been agreed that the number of hours allocated to the reading of Master’s theses will be reduced from 10 to 7, and no hours will be allocated to both thesis supervision and PhD supervision for PhD students enrolled on the 4+4 scheme.

As an offshoot of the negotiations, the schools have agreed to develop a uniform practice for using Vipomatic to ensure comparability across the faculty.

The new agreement is available here.

Dean Johnny Laursen says:

”I was very happy to finally sign the completed agreement on working hours. We were already familiar with aspects of the agreement, as we agreed to apply the new norms for working hours from the autumn semester of 2022 while we discussed the final wording. You learn a lot about our academic competences from the union representatives as well as from Liselotte and Jody, who contributed their expertise. I’m pleased we’re able to increase some of the standard norms slightly. I’m also well aware that there’s still plenty of work ahead in ensuring that the working hours spent on teaching correlate with the teaching capacity we have at the faculty.”

Joint union representative Lars Bo Gundersen says:

”Unfortunately, stress is a major challenge at Arts. There’s no doubt that the agreement on working hours and the associated Vipomatic account are part of the problem, among other things because some of the ways you ‘earn’ Vipomatic hours are more stressful than others. In addition, we have accumulated more than 150,000 surplus hours at Arts. Not until we achieve a more balanced account of working hours at faculty, school, department and staff level will we able to change the underlining methods of calculation to develop more collegial principles for the allocation of teaching and administrative tasks. The new agreement includes clearly formulated principles on how to reach this balance, and personally, I look forward to the exciting process of, first, reducing the number of surplus hours and, then, developing new ways to divide tasks. The agreement provides a better framework for coherent research time, more realistic hourly norms for assessing written assignments and additional hours for basic tasks without a standard norm.”