Socialist Worker

Lecturers' union attacks temporary contracts

Issue No. 2081

The UCU lecturers’ union has attacked university employers for “blighting” higher education by putting the majority of new workers on temporary rather than permanent contracts.

UCU found that 96.5 percent of new research jobs in Britain were based on fixed term contracts. Over two thirds of all academic staff are given fixed term contracts when they start employment.

At Nottingham Trent university, 79.7 percent of its research and teaching staff who began continuous employment there in 2005 were given temporary contracts.

A spokesperson from the UCU branch at Nottingham Trent said, “Job insecurity makes it much more difficult for our members to get mortgages.”

By putting staff on temporary contracts, workers will be less likely to challenge their working conditions or raise any problems they may, have for fear of losing their jobs.

The findings contradict the stated aims of the employers’ body, the University and Colleges Employers Association, and the unions that “indefinite contracts should be the normal form of employment”.

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Tue 11 Dec 2007, 18:44 GMT
Issue No. 2081
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