UCU is running a national campaign to improve pay and conditions for all HE and FE staff on fixed-term and hourly paid contracts (including postgraduate tutors). The aim of the campaign is to challenge casualisation, to make all members aware of the issues, and to encourage staff on casual contracts to join and become involved in UCU.
More specifically, the union aims:
- to increase the use of permanent contracts for the many professional staff employed on casual contracts across further, higher and adult education
- to resist vulnerable employment, including the imposition of zero hours contracts, bogus self-employment, pay lower than that of colleagues doing comparable work, detrimental variable (minimum) hours contracts; and to seek equal treatment for agency workers
- to oppose selection for redundancy on the basis of being on a fixed-term and/or part-time contract
- to transfer hourly paid and other staff on casual contracts to full-time or fractional contracts with the same terms and conditions as permanent, full-time salaried staff
- to increase the recruitment and activism within UCU of those on casual contracts, and to encourage their voices to be heard
- to push for fair working conditions for staff on casual contracts, including photocopying facilities and desk space
Fixed-Term Employees [Prevention of less favourable treatment] 2002
The Regulations state that anyone who has had two or more successive fixed term contracts for four or more years should be transferred to an indefinite contract, unless there is a justifiable and objective reason why not. The four years is counted from 10th July 2002.
Key points from the regulations are here (PDF).
Read the Regulations – Fixed-Term Employees [Prevention of less favourable treatment] 2002 (link)
National Guidelines: What is justifiable and objective?
The interpretation of “justifiable and objective” is quite subjective. So UCEA (the employers) and AUT both agreed to common principles in 2002. The full agreement is here.
Advice to Members
Do you have a right to a permanent contract? See www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/e/e/ftc_doyouhavetheright.pdf
What should you do if you think you have the right to a permanent contract? See www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/4/f/ftc_whatshouldyoudo.pdf
Template for Letter to Personnel
As of 10th July 2006, staff who feel they are eligible for transfer to an indefinite contract are encouraged to write to personnel. Please also refer to local UCU representatives for advice.
FTCS campaign progress
Warwick University Guidelines
See the University’s Guidelines on the use of Fixed Term Contracts (you will need to log in to insite to see this section):www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/humanresources/newpolicies/newpolicies/ftcs