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December 17, 2014

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K-12 Clerical Report details impact of relentless budgetary pressure


BURNABY - A new report looking at office and clerical work in B.C.’s public school system offers key insight into how this important segment of CUPE’s membership has fared in the wake of a full decade of government-induced budget austerity and service cuts.

The report, titled Under Duress: the intensification of clerical work in B.C.’s public school system, is written by research representative John Malcolmson.  It is based on a review of relevant research, analysis of school budgeting information and most importantly an online survey of clerical workers undertaken in the spring of 2014.  About 1,300 office and clerical staff in 49 B.C. school districts completed this survey, a response rate of close to 30 per cent, a good cross-section of CUPE members.

Under Duress shows that, like other school support workers, clerical and office staff face the impact of relentless budgetary pressure on school district operations.

Pressures include:

• compression of office/clerical work hours

• increased workload pressure

• increases in job requirements

• additional range and complexity of things demanded of workers

• rising stress

The report also uncovers health and safety concerns and compiles information on ergonomic issues raised by members.

Despite these findings, office/clerical staff report high levels of overall job satisfaction, citing the importance of the personal relationships they are able to cultivate to how they feel about work.

Read the executive summary.

Download a PDF of the full report.

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