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Stamp out casual contracts

UCU believes that high quality education and fair working conditions depend on contracts that give staff stability and continuity of employment. Casualisation is bad for staff and bad for education, yet it's endemic in our colleges and universities.

46% of universities and 60% of colleges use zero hours contracts to deliver teaching.

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68% of research staff in higher education are on fixed term contracts, with many more dependent on short-term funding for continued employment.

Stamp Out Casualisation is UCU's campaign to win continuity of employment and fairer contracts for casualised staff.

Anti-casualisation day of action : 'End precarious work now'

A UCU report shows that more 42% of staff on casual contracts, such as controversial zero-hours contracts, in universities and colleges have struggled to pay household bills, and over a third (35%) reported that they struggled to meet rent or mortgage demands. An alarming one in five (21%) said that they struggled to put food on the table.

Read more in our press release  and download the full report below:
 (.pdf) file type icon Making ends meet - the human cost of casualisation in post-secondary education, May 15 (.pdf) [940kb]

The campaign against casualisation is one of UCU's national priorities:
 (.pdf) file type icon Read about our work over the past year here (.pdf) [259kb]

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Anti-casualisation committee blog

Follow this blog hosted by UCU and its anti-casualisation committee to read testimony from casualised members and reports on how our union is winning improvements for precarious staff: ucuanticas.wordpress.com

UCU makes a difference

These case studies and reports show some of the ways in which UCU is winning greater continuity of employment and better pay for casualised staff:

Zero-hours contracts

Important law change - Following the implementation of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, a zero-hours contract is now legally defined for the first time. Go to UCU law extra for further details of what this means for you.

UCU is prioritising its campaigning to eradicate zero hours contracts in post-secondary education. Read updates on how we are waging this fight nationally and locally here:

UCU's legal fight over contracts

September 2013: UCU takes 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:

Anti-casualisation committee

UCU has an advisory committee representing staff on casualised contracts, elected at an annual meeting for casualised staff.

The committee's priorities are:

  • make use of the current public and political profile of zero-hours contracts to strengthen the drive to eradicate this form of contracts from post-secondary education.
  • work to ensure that the struggle against casualisation in all forms is a central negotiating and bargaining issue at all levels of the union.
  • promote and support campaigning, organising  and bargaining initiatives at local institutional level to translate our national objectives into tangible successes that win greater continuity and security of employment and fair treatment for all staff on all forms of casual contract.
  • build a bank of personal testimonies about life on casualised contracts to enhance the union's campaigning, organising and bargaining work.
  • work to ensure that the annual meeting for casualised staff is well attended and fully representative of casualised staff in post-secondary education
  • continue to support and encourage the recruitment of casualised staff
  • produce at least two editions of Anti-casualisation news.

Further information about the campaign can be obtained from Jonathan White: jwhite@ucu.org.uk

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
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