All out for USS

Hourly-paid staff and the framework agreement

In 2004 a historic agreement was reached between the national employers and trade unions for a framework of new pay structures across higher education.

Previously pay had been determined differently for different groups of staff and although hourly-paid staff in the post-92 sector had their hourly rate of pay negotiated nationally, there was no such provision in the pre-92 sector.

As a result, rates of pay in the pre-92 sector vary widely between, and sometimes even within, institutions.

The framework agreement requires new pay and grading structures to be agreed between the employers and the local trade unions and implemented in every higher education institutions. The deadline for implementation was August 2006 but some institutions have yet to agree new pay and grading structures and many more have yet to complete the assimilation of hourly paid staff to those structures.

Equal pay was a major driving force behind the changes and it is therefore imperative that all staff benefit from the changes - including those who are currently on hourly rates of pay.

Under the framework agreement, hourly-paid staff are entitled to the same fairness and equality of treatment as non-hourly-paid staff.

In particular, hourly-paid posts should be subject to the same role analysis and job matching process as non-hourly-paid posts to determine the appropriate grade for such posts. National academic role profiles have been developed and agreed between the employers and the academic trade unions which should be used in this process. The profiles are in 3 job families; teaching and scholarship, teaching and research and research, that are of equal value at each level. There is an expectation that all hourly paid lecturers will assimilate to at least level 2 on the academic scale - the same entry level as non-hourly paid lecturers.

As part of the negotiations on the assimilation of hourly paid staff to the new pay and grading structures, local branches / LAs should be seeking the conversion of such posts to fractional contracts.

However, even if that is not possible immediately, once the grade has been determined through this process, part-time or hourly rates of pay can be calculated. Once matched to a grade, hourly-paid staff should be afforded the same incremental progression and promotional opportunities as non-hourly paid staff.

The framework agreement provides an unprecedented opportunity to get hourly-paid staff onto a proper grading structure providing for annual increments and career progression.

This part of the Stamp Out Casual Contracts resource library includes:

Last updated: 28 October 2008