We are in a moderate sized group (approx. 10 PhD and 4 postdocs) with a single professor as everyone's supervisor, who is well respected in our field. In our field it is normal that the supervisor is co author on all papers unless it was an external side project / collaboration and so the majority of papers coming out the group require his final say.
The issue we have is the length of time to get feedback and hence publish, as an example there are several group members waiting on feedback of papers for over 1 year. A particular issue is he constantly breaks his self imposed deadlines, he will say he will give feedback by Friday,then Wednesday, then Friday etc for months at a time. Recently he has taken to playing us off against each other, he says he'll read A's after he's done B's but when A asks B, B has heard nothing. From the group's point of view he is more interested in taking more students / new projects and the delays we experience are his choice.
This is hitting tipping point in our group, there is a lot of discontent and everyone is talking to each other so it's a downward spiral about who has it worse each week, PhD students are missing getting their theses handed in and postdocs are saying the delays are significantly affecting thier career prospects. One recently said if their academic career is over and they have no need for a reference they'll report him for misconduct on their way out.
To clarify this is a top 5 UK institution.
Sorry for the lengthy background, my questions are:
1 Is it considered misconduct / unethical to delay publications through such long delays to feedback?
2 What are the techniques to encourage feedback in a timely manner?