Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/3532
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.
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.
Government consultation on zero-hours contracts
February 2014: The government has launched an online consultation on the use of zero-hours contracts which focusses on:
- exclusivity clauses
- improving transparency
- questions for employers and individuals on how these types of clauses operate in practice.
UCU will be making a submission to the consultation, which will be published here in the coming weeks, however all UCU members who have experienced working on zero hours contracts are urged to take part in the consultation. Members can complete the online questions 1-13 and 27- 41.
Most members' experience of zero-hours contracts is that they have little choice but to accept them as no permanent full-time or fractional posts are on offer. It is important that individuals give answers in this consultation that show zero-hours contracts create insecurity not freedom for employees.
The consultation documents and online forms can be found here. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 13 March 2014.
The specific aims of the campaign are:
December 2013: 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