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Insecure working practices condemned

11 November 2016 | last updated: 12 July 2018

Following US research that shows putting staff on casual contracts affects the success of students, an article by UCU general secretary Sally Hunt in this week's Guardian condemns the insecure working practices that permeate the education sectors.

She writes, 'Insecure working practices now permeate every section of our society. Although students probably don't realise it, most of them are taught at some point, perhaps even for majority of their time at university, by people on insecure casual contracts. Some universities have been accused of trying to ape the worst practices of the likes of Sport Direct.

'The exploitative use of casualised contracts - including hourly-paid, part-time and even zero-hours ones - breeds insecurity and stress, and forces people to work long hours for poor pay. Many work for more than one university to make ends meet. It cannot be right that the people teaching our students are constantly anxious, not knowing from year-to-year, term-to-term, or even month-to-month, whether they will have a job or how much they might earn.'

The union's 'stamp out casual contracts' day of action takes place on Thursday 24 November with workplace activities aimed at highlighting the issue and inviting precariously employed staff to join UCU.