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Taking action in higher education

UCU response to Ed Miliband's zero-hours contract pledge

1 April 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU today welcomed a commitment from Labour party leader Ed Miliband that workers on zero-hours contracts would have the right to regular employment after 12 weeks.

The union said it was a myth that zero-hours contracts offered a fair and sensible deal for workers and employers. UCU said people who wanted the security of a proper contract should be given it.

The union said the extent of casualisation in colleges and universities would probably shock many students and parents. Research shows that 61 per cent of colleges and 53 per cent of universities have teaching staff employed on zero-hours contracts.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'People on zero-hours contracts are unable to plan their lives on a month-by-month or even week-by-week basis. We welcome the proposal from Ed Miliband and would work with any party committed to seriously tackling the problem of casualisation in education.

'The flexibility of these types of contracts is not a two-way street and people who want security and a proper contract should be able to secure one. The lack of job security in our colleges and universities is a huge problem and the scale of insecure contracts would probably shock many students and parents.'