In solidarity with hourly paid teaching staff, students have drawn up a petition to be submitted to heads of department, expressing loud and clear that further casualisation and precarity is NOT what students want! Sign and share.
It may have already come to your attention that Warwick University has announced plans to trial a new scheme for employing hourly paid teaching staff called ‘Teach Higher’. This new scheme changes the terms and conditions of employment for hourly paid teaching staff to a contract of services with the following detrimental effects to working conditions and quality of teaching:
- Further casualisation, as candidates are offered contracts of services or ‘assignments’ as opposed to contracts of employment. This denies candidates the right to formal employment by the university.
- Less job security, leading to stressful and precarious working conditions. There is already a strong demand amongst students for more detailed feedback and quicker feedback times, however Teach Higher will exacerbate existing problems and lead to poorer preparation of teaching, decreasing the quality of education provided by Warwick University.
- A widening of the rift between two tiers within departments, separating permanent, salaried staff from casual teaching service contractors.
- Exclusion of non-EU postdoctoral staff on Tier 2 visas, which require a full employment contract and a salary of at least £20,000. This will lead to less diversity within departments and in the content of the education provided.
- Greater precarity for women in the workforce, as Teach Higher reserves the right to terminate assignments with no prior notice or liability. This leaves female teaching staff vulnerable to discriminatory termination of assignments if they become pregnant.
- Similarly, this leaves staff members with disabilities and illnesses, LGBT tutors and people of colour vulnerable to termination of assignments.
- Expansion into a commercial franchise akin to Unitemps if the Teach Higher pilot is successful, setting a precedent for other universities in the UK to use similar schemes, seriously damaging the British education system as a whole.
There has been little to no consultation with either the hourly paid staff affected or the unions that represent them. This undermines the legitimacy of university democracy and the transparency of decision-making.
Teach Higher represents plans to normalise casualisation in Higher Education. If Teach Higher is allowed to be implemented, this will be a serious blow to both the wellbeing of staff and students’ education.
We believe that all teaching staff should have full contracts of employment, access to fair pay for hours worked, and that all British, EU and non-EU teaching staff should have equal right to employment at the University of Warwick. Teach Higher will jeopardise these rights and unless this changes, we oppose the scheme.
Please sign the official petition to register your support.
Concerned students of the University of Warwick