Letter on Casualised Contracts
Dear Vice Chancellor, members of University Executive Board,
We write as senior academics at the University of Nottingham to urge you to engage in meaningful talks with UCU on the issue of casualisation at our university. According to the latest HESA data, our university employs more than 1000 academics on fixed-term contracts and more than 1400 teachers and researchers on ‘atypical’ contracts.
In November 2016, the extent of our use of precarious contracts became front page news in the national press.
We believe it is source of embarrassment and regret that, two years on, the University still engages front line teaching staff as temporary agency workers through ‘Unitemps’, depriving them of employment rights. It is equally regrettable that no meaningful action has been taken to create more secure employment and address the amounts of unpaid labour taking place on our campuses, as reflected in the different amount of hours allocated to tasks such as preparation of teaching and marking of student work across the various Departments and Schools, resulting in a situation where these colleagues are expected to carry out unpaid work.
We believe that the employment and engagement of academic staff on precarious contracts is damaging to staff and damaging to our university.
The University plays an important leadership role in the local economy. It cannot be right that we employ and engage people on contracts and pay rates that deprive them of employment rights and leave them struggling to make ends meet. Moreover, the fracturing of academic career paths and the employment of staff on short-term and precarious contracts creates a working world in which it is harder to generate real innovation and more difficult to provide the kind of educational service and relationships that underpin an excellent student experience. Not to take action on casualisation is to gamble with our reputation.
We welcome your recognition that the USS dispute has caused significant damage to trust and confidence in the university community. We also welcome your statement that the University Executive Board will seek to engage more with staff and listen to their concerns.
In the spirit of fulfilling this commitment, we urge you to follow the example of other leading UK universities and engage actively with the University and College Union’s claim for meaningful negotiations on casualisation at the University of Nottingham.
Prof. Andrew Leyshon, Geography
Prof. Howard Stevenson, Education
Prof. John Holmwood, Sociology
Prof. Stephen Legg, Geography
Prof. Toni Kapcia, Latin American Studies
Prof. Tony Padilla, Physics
Prof. Simon McGrath, Education
Prof. Stephen Joseph, Education
Prof. Andreas Bieler, Politics
Prof. Monica McLean, Education
Prof. Charles Crook, Education
Prof. John Holford, Education
Prof. Tony Bush, Education
Prof. Philip Moriarty, Physics
Prof. Penny Gowland, Physics
Prof. Mark Fromhold, Physics
Prof. Peter Beton, Physics
Prof. Katharine Adeney, Politics
Prof. Peter Ling, American & Can. Studies
Prof. Shaaron Ainsworth, Education
Prof. Bill Dixon, Sociology
Prof. Alison Pilnick, Sociology
Prof. Paul Heywood, Politics
Prof. Dave Matless, Geography
Prof. Peter Bartlett, Law
Prof. Chris Pierson, Politics
Prof. Steven Fielding, Politics
Prof. John Young, History
Prof. Elizabeth Harvey, History
Prof. Marko Milanovic, Law
Prof. John Jackson, Law
Prof. Jon McGregor, English
Prof. James Moran, English
Prof. Peter Shaw, Biochemistry
Prof. Louise Mullany, English
Prof. Marek Korczynski, Business
Prof. Jeff Kenner, Law
Prof. Zoltan Dornyei, English
Prof. Helen Cassaday, Psychology
Prof. Peter Mitchell, Psychology
Prof. Harold Noonan, Philosophy
Prof. Heidi Winklhofer, Business
Prof. Judith Jesch, English
Prof. Tim Parr, Biosciences
Prof. George Shaw, Biosciences
Prof. Andy Salter, Biosciences
Prof. Paul Hegarty, French
Prof. Richard Wrigley, Cultural, Media and Visual Studies
Casual Contracts Survey
Your UCU branch is campaigning to improve the conditions of staff on casualised contracts who teach or research at the university as part of the wider sustainability campaign that also includes our work on the Living Wage.You can find the document that we submitted to Council with proposals on casual contracts, privatisation and the Living Wage here:Sustainability campaign – Council document final
Our survey for teachers on casualised contracts
We have launched a survey for staff (including postgraduate students) who are employed to teach at the University. Please complete the survey if you are paid by the hour to teach, or have taught on casual (non-permanent) teaching contracts in either this or the previous academic year. This includes Teaching Affiliates, hourly paid lecturers, tutors, teaching assistants, demonstrators, lab or studio assistants, staff employed to teach a particular module, staff on “rolling” contracts etc.
If you are not affected by this issue personally, you almost certainly know someone who is, so please also share with affected colleagues, and indeed anyone in contact with staff on insecure contracts.
We also have an open meeting on Wednesday 24th at 1.30 in Pope A17 to address this issue. Please share this poster widely: 24th Feb poster