Fighting fund banner


UCU calls for an end to zero-hours contracts at meeting with industry leaders

22 July 2014

UCU today re-emphasised its opposition to zero-hours contracts at an industry briefing on atypical and zero-hours contracts hosted by conciliation experts Acas.

The union said the UK's academic reputation was being built on the exploitation of temporary staff. UCU research last year highlighted that almost a third of teaching staff in further education colleges were on zero-hours or similar contracts and that 17 per cent of teaching staff in 75 universities were on similar contracts. Among university researchers, two-thirds of staff were on temporary contracts.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The UK has an excellent and well deserved academic reputation which has, unfortunately, been built upon the exploitation of thousands of temporary staff. Universities and colleges too often use the fierce competition for permanent jobs to create a no-rights culture for teachers and researchers.

'Universities and colleges receive billions of pounds of public money and from students, yet too many are happy to adopt working practices which leave their staff unable to get a mortgage or plan a family. The time has come for workers to be fairly paid and properly treated and a move away from exploitative contracts will be a step in the right direction'

Last updated: 10 December 2015