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Stamp Out Casual Contracts

The UCU 'Stamp Out Casual Contracts' campaign is intended to be a high profile campaign highlighting the work that UCU is undertaking in fighting casualisation in further and higher education.

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UCU has a long history of fighting casualisation and demanding fair treatment for all our members and we know that campaigns against casualisation are supported by all our members - not just those who are directly affected.

Casualisation in all its forms is a blight to further and higher education bringing with it inefficiency, inequality and personal stress.

We want to change that. The aim of the campaign is to challenge casualisation, making all members aware of the issues, giving branches the materials and support they need to make a difference locally, and encouraging staff on casualised contracts to join and become involved in UCU.


UCU Anti-Casualisation Training and Organising Conference - 5 June 2014, London

Following UCU's anti-casualisation day of action there was a conference for members on casualised contracts who would like to get more involved with their branches.


Anti-Casualisation Day of Action 2014

UCU's annual day of action protesting against the over-use of casual contracts in UK further and higher education took place on 7 May.

You can find more information here.

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Government consultation on zero-hours contracts

In February 2014 the government launched an online consultation on the use of zero-hours contracts which focuses on:

  • exclusivity clauses
  • improving transparency
  • questions for employers and individuals on how these types of clauses operate in practice.

UCU's submission to the consultation is now available:
 (.pdf) file type icon UCU response to the zero hours consultation, Mar 14 (.pdf) [133kb]


The specific aims of the campaign are:

Spotlight on zero-hours contracts

There has been a welcome and increased focus over recent months, both in the press and political circles, on the use of zero-hours, or 'hours to be notified', contracts. See below for some of the recent developments:

UCU to press government over zero-hours contracts

UCU response to Labour's zero-hour contracts plans

Zero hours in universities: 'You never know if it'll be enough to survive' (Guardian)

University of Edinburgh vows to abolish zero-hour contracts

Over half of universities and colleges use lecturers on zero-hour contracts

Research reveals huge underestimation in number of workers on zero-hours contracts

UCU response to Nick Clegg's zero-hours contracts investigation

UCU's legal fight over contracts

September 2013: UCU is taking its fight for job security to the European Commission on the basis that a change to employment law contravenes the requirement not to discriminate against fixed term workers:

Union goes to European Commission in legal fight over contracts at universities and colleges

Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (Amendment) Order 2013

  • to increase the use of permanent contracts for the many professional staff employed on casualised contracts across further, higher and adult education
  • to resist vulnerable employment, including the imposition of zero hours contracts, bogus self-employment, pay lower than that of colleagues doing comparable work, detrimental variable (minimum) hours contracts; and to seek equal treatment for agency workers
  • to oppose selection for redundancy on the basis of being on a fixed-term and/or part-time contract
  • to transfer hourly paid and other staff on casualised contracts to full-time or fractional contracts with the same terms and conditions as permanent, full-time salaried staff
  • to increase the recruitment and activism within UCU of those on casualised contracts, and to encourage their voices to be heard
  • to push for fair working conditions for staff on casualised contracts, including photocopying facilities and desk space.

The campaign pages contain a wealth of information for branches/LAs and members to help in the fight against casualisation. We hope that you find these resources useful.

Further information about the campaign can be obtained from:

If you are a member who has a query about any issue please contact your branch or local association in the first instance: contact details can be found here

Stamp out casual contracts - professional contracts : Professional contracts for professional people
UCU member services: Log in here to update your record online
About the fighting fund
See also

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