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Part-time OU lecturers win health and safety rights

3 March 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Part-time associate lecturers at the Open University have won new health and safety rights after representations by UCU union reps.

Most part-time lecturers mark students' assignments by computer, respond to emails and carry out administrative tasks by computer, but hourly paid staff are often not considered when institutions are putting together their policies, including those on health and safety matters.

A year ago the Open University branch of UCU started making representations to its management asking that part-time associate lecturers be recognised as users of DSE (Display Screen Equipment) for health and safety purposes. This has recently been accepted by the OU management  and associate lecturers will now, among other benefits, get free eye tests as a consequence. The UCU branch is also going to have an associate lecturer as a branch health and safety rep attending the OU's Health and Safety Committee for the first time this year.