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Issue:- Monday, 18 April 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 2.

New reports lay bare endemic use of insecure teaching contracts in Merseyside Universities and Colleges

LIVERPOOL School of Tropical Medicine, Edge Hill University and Southport College are amongst the UK's worst offenders for insecure employment of academic teaching staff, according to sister reports on precarious employment that has been published, on Friday, 15 April 2015, by the University and College Union (UCU). 

according to The report on higher education finds that 62.4% teaching staff at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are employed on an insecure contract, placing it 13th in a UK wide 'insecurity index' for precarious employment practices. Edge Hill University is also listed in 42nd place with 43.7% of teaching staff on insecure contracts. The Union's sister report on further education names Southport College in the top 50 worst offenders for insecure employment, with 44.8% of staff employed on non permanent contracts.

The reports state that, overall, 49% of teaching staff at UK Universities and 34% of teaching staff at UK Colleges are on insecure contracts. Anecdotal evidence backed up by research suggests that insecure contracts undermine teachers' ability to do a good job as they often have poor access to basic equipment and facilities, can only get their job done by putting in unpaid hours, and are constantly stressed about future availability of work.

In January, the Union wrote to all universities and colleges asking them to stop using 0 hours contracts and to work with UCU to review the use of all forms of non permanent contracts. The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Edge Hill University and Southport College all failed to respond to the letter. 

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:- "The report shows there is a damaging 'hire and fire' 0 hours culture flourishing in our colleges and universities. The worst offenders such as the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine employ a significant majority of their teaching staff on insecure contracts, but many more institutions are relying far too heavily on them. We know that a teacher's ability to do a good job is compromised if they are on an insecure contract. We need colleges to engage in better workforce planning that gives staff stable jobs. Such a huge proportion of insecure contracts has real potential to undermine the future of high quality education at these institutions."

Do you work for these institutions or are you a representative of them?  Please let us know your views via emailing our newsroom via:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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