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Sheffield Hallam to end zero-hour contracts for associate lecturers

10 March 2023

Sheffield Hallam UCU has gained a significant win against casualisation after the university agreed to move associate lecturers off zero-hour contracts.

Associate lectures are staff specifically employed either to cover the short-term absences or to cover unforeseen or urgent short-term additional teaching needs. The negotiated settlement that will see them moved off zero-hour contracts. Anyone employed for more than eight consecutive weeks will be moved to a fixed-term contract.

While not ending casualisation at the university, it goes a long way to addressing the insecurity of zero-hour contracts and inequalities between associate lecturers and other members of academic staff. Specifically: 

  • the new fixed-term contracts offer a route to permanent position for those who achieve four years continuous service
  • associate lecturers will be hired through a structured recruitment process and therefore will not be reliant on a single individual for their livelihood
  • associate lecturers have access to a 'guaranteed interview' for any lecturer or senior lecturer vacancy. 

The UCU branch at Sheffield Hallam was also able to secure commitments from the employer not to seek to expand the amount of teaching currently covered by associate lecturers, that no existing academic staff would be downgraded, and to ensure they are given the appropriate fixed-term contracts in terms of length and number of hours. In order to hold the employer to these commitments, robust data will be shared with UCU on an annual basis. 

Read the full story here: UCU welcomes end of zero-hour contracts for associate lecturers at Sheffield Hallam University

Last updated: 14 March 2023