Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
32 views
32 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018
81 Views
1 Comments

Associate tutors rally support

USSU President Laura Tazzioli speaks out in support of Associate Tutors (Photo: Paul Cecil)

USSU President Laura Tazzioli speaks out in support of Associate Tutors - photo: Paul Cecil

Around 300 people attended a rally in support of Associate Tutors in Library Square last Wednesday.
The rally, which was organised as part of the University and College Union’s (UCU) ‘Stamp out Casualisation’ campaign, attracted a mix of staff, students and union members.

Speakers included Sasha Callaghan the National President of the UCU, the largest Union for academic staff working in higher education in the UK and Laura Tazzioli, USSU President. A UCU press release stated that the rally was “intended both as a celebration of [the associate tutors’] fantastic work, and a timely reminder to the University that colleagues will not put up with discriminatory and unfair treatment any longer.”

The main purpose of the rally was to outline the points of the manifesto for fair pay and equal treatment of ATs and to encourage solidarity between students and staff members.

One issue arising from the manifesto was “equal pay for work of equal value within schools and across the University.”

“If a student comes into my seminar and doesn’t know the difference between me and a Tutor then why should my pay packets be so different?” asked one AT speaker. The University has been using “localized employment practices” to pay tutors different salaries depending on which department they work in, or even within the same schools, despite the similarities in job description.

Another important issue raised was that “All direct teaching should be at a minimum of Grade 6” – the minimum structure and outline for teaching. The University of Sussex however has created a Grade 5, which is a ‘pre-teaching’ level stipulating far less responsibility for ATs and allowing the University more control over their salaries. One AT told The Badger that ATs generally go far beyond what grade 5 requires of them because they do not want to jeopardise the level of teaching.

Under the role description for grade 5 level, staff are not supposed to update or alter course content. This poses obvious problems in subjects such as International Relations and Law where things are constantly changing, yet the ATs are not allowed to update content accordingly. Dr. Hazel Cox the Senior Lecturer/Admissions Tutor in the Department of Chemistry and Sussex UCU Vice-President said how she would “really like management to pay ATs for all the work they actually do (including marking, tutorial reports, electronic feedback, etc.) and to acknowledge the fact that it is impossible to give a seminar at grade 5!” As further insult to injury it was confirmed that Associate Tutors at the University of Brighton start at a grade 7 status.

Another AT called for “No zero hour contracts.” Such contracts do not guarantee an AT employment or salary for any significant period of time. The AT’s need for experience thus gives the university a ‘monopoly’ over AT contracts. One member of staff has been working at Sussex for 15 years and has not even been given a “permanent contract.” On the University of Sussex website it is stated that ATs “serve a vital function in enabling departments to accommodate unpredictable and often short-term demands for teaching support.” This seems to be the justification for such contracts.

The website also outlines how “the University is committed to constantly reviewing and improving the working conditions of its Associate Tutors…[and ensuring that ATs] are well supported, treated fairly and with respect.” When the University implemented these ‘reviews’ on ATs’ working conditions last year, they had to remove the word ‘agreed’ from their launch presentation as the UCU were not in anyway consulted.

The Badger was informed that it is not true that ATs agreed to such measures. The University has continually ignored a “group that are vulnerable” and are “refusing to talk to them.” Perhaps more than anything it is just this respect that many ATs want. I was told that the rally today was to “make students aware” that they may not realise that they are being taught by Associate Tutors, and that the effects of unfair treatment for ATs could trickle down to education of students. “Good people have left [the University]” because of this and if no meaningful dialogue or progress is made between the UCU representing ATs and the University then the next step for ATs could be industrial action. However this would be reluctant as ATs do not want to harm their students’ education. Rather ironically, the type of industrial action taken would most likely be ‘working to grade,’ which would mean ATs threatening to work within the framework of grade 5 set out by the University, such is the conviction ATs have of this action seriously affecting the running of the University.
Dr. Hazel Cox thanks all supporters for braving the cold to attend and praised the “fantastic” speakers.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
32 views
32 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018
Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?
Arts
35 views
35 views

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?

Rob Smith - April 19, 2018
Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe
Arts
49 views
49 views

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe

Georgia Grace - April 18, 2018
What’s wrong with the literary canon?
Arts
43 views
43 views

What’s wrong with the literary canon?

Shiri Reuben - April 18, 2018

One Comment

  1. I’d just like to express solidarity with the Associate Tutors and wish them good luck. When I was a Sussex student some of my best teaching came from Associate Tutors.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome
Arts
32 views
Arts
32 views

Jake Bugg at Brighton Dome

Matthew Nicholls - April 19, 2018

Following the release of his Fourth Studio album ‘Hearts that Strain’ in September 2017, Jake Bugg decided he wanted an intimate tour, and that is exactly what…

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?
Arts
35 views
Arts
35 views

Should Instrumental Skill Still Matter?

Rob Smith - April 19, 2018

I am not advocating that all music, no matter how little talent is required, is by default innovative. I will eagerly admit that much of the bland,…

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe
Arts
49 views
Arts
49 views

Sussex student takes show to Brighton Fringe

Georgia Grace - April 18, 2018

  Final year English and Drama student Sophie Pester will be taking her original stage show A Glass Half Empty to Brighton Fringe next month. First performed…

What’s wrong with the literary canon?
Arts
43 views
Arts
43 views

What’s wrong with the literary canon?

Shiri Reuben - April 18, 2018

This elusive and slightly archaic category, 'the literary canon' seeps into what we know and what we think we know about 'good' and 'bad' literature. On a simple…

For students, where does work end and rest begin?
Features
58 views
Features
58 views

For students, where does work end and rest begin?

Lucy Pegg - April 17, 2018

Print Production Editor Lucy Pegg examines the difficult balance between work and rest for students. In an environment that blurs the line between productivity and recreation, can…

Cambridge Analytica: did Facebook share your personal data?
Science
49 views
Science
49 views

Cambridge Analytica: did Facebook share your personal data?

Luke Richards - April 14, 2018

The last couple of weeks have been tough for Facebook, as it reels from the public scrutiny it has received over its lackadaisical protection of personal data.…

Brighton Fringe comic Joseph Morpurgo on satire, Frankenstein and his fictitious nine-hour, one-man show
Arts
80 views
Arts
80 views

Brighton Fringe comic Joseph Morpurgo on satire, Frankenstein and his fictitious nine-hour, one-man show

Georgia Grace - April 13, 2018

At The Badger we sat down with multi-talented comic, three-time Chortle Award winner and Edinburgh Fringe favourite Joseph Morpurgo to discuss his show Hammerhead. Following a three-week…

Amritsar: 99 years later and still no apology
Comment
90 views
Comment
90 views

Amritsar: 99 years later and still no apology

William Singh - April 12, 2018

99 years ago on Friday, one British general marched his soldiers into an enclosed garden in the vicinity of the holy Golden Temple and sealed off the…

Talking disability, identity and inclusion through dance – Candoco preview
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Talking disability, identity and inclusion through dance – Candoco preview

Georgia Grace - April 12, 2018

Candoco are a company of disabled and non-disabled dancers who, for the past 25 years, have challenged ideas about what dance can be and who gets to…

Voodoo preview
Arts
51 views
Arts
51 views

Voodoo preview

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 12, 2018

“[A] science fiction that addresses the desire, confusion and responsibility felt as individuals, who are also symbols of many long-persecuted people.” (Quoted from Alexandrina Hemsley and Jamila…

Interview with Chris Watson: Take a trip to No Man’s Land this spring
Lifestyle
135 views
Lifestyle
135 views

Interview with Chris Watson: Take a trip to No Man’s Land this spring

Louisa Streeting - April 6, 2018

Sound recordist, Chris Watson, spoke to The Badger about his new installation piece featured in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts until 13 April 2018. From…

“A moving symbol of cooperation and humanity” – COAL review
Arts
174 views
Arts
174 views

“A moving symbol of cooperation and humanity” – COAL review

William Singh - March 31, 2018

“This is not a show. It’s something else”, we’re told. Gary Clarke’s dance performance of the life and decline of Britain’s mining communities is certainly something else.…

Brighton’s craft beer festival returns in April for third year
Lifestyle
170 views
Lifestyle
170 views

Brighton’s craft beer festival returns in April for third year

Louisa Streeting - March 28, 2018

Brighton will become the hub of craft beer in more than a dozen pubs from April 27-29. The Brighton Tap Takeover returns for a third year bringing…

Young blood promotes brain regeneration
Science
116 views
Science
116 views

Young blood promotes brain regeneration

Nikolaos Manesis - March 28, 2018

On the "growing old is natural" vs "it should be medically reversed" debate, vampires have crossed the picket line from the get-go and scientists have just proven…

The educational psychology of children with autism
Science
142 views
Science
142 views

The educational psychology of children with autism

Nikolaos Manesis - March 28, 2018

The scientific field of educational psychology studies the relationship between learning processes and the individual differences in cognitive development, motivation and intelligence. The majority of children are…

Stand Up & Slam review
Arts
134 views
Arts
134 views

Stand Up & Slam review

Alex Leissle - March 28, 2018

Sometimes the best experiences are those you initially question. Stand Up & Slam is one such idea, for it is a resounding triumph of an evening. Hosted…

Organisms, self-understanding and sacrifice in Rambert’s production at Theatre Royal Brighton
Arts
156 views
Arts
156 views

Organisms, self-understanding and sacrifice in Rambert’s production at Theatre Royal Brighton

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - March 24, 2018

Goat.-Rambert-Dancers-FrontCentre-Daniel-Davidson.-©-Hugo-Glendinning Rambert delivered a series of fluid performances where human bodies became elegant oscillations, much like the metallic wall used on stage to divide the dancers in…

SMuTS presents ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ review
Arts
223 views
Arts
223 views

SMuTS presents ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ review

Georgia Grace - March 23, 2018

Excitement and anticipation were running high Wednesday evening at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) for the opening night of Sussex Musical Theatre Society’s (SMuTS’s)…

SU Election coverage – Dead Slate: all women elected for third consecutive year at Sussex
Campus News
172 views
Campus News
172 views

SU Election coverage – Dead Slate: all women elected for third consecutive year at Sussex

Jordan Wright - March 23, 2018

The results are in for this year's Students' Union election, which saw 30 candidates running to be the full-time elected representatives of the student body at Sussex.…

Academic Armchair: ‘Cinderella, you shall go to the ball”: a conversation with Ketan Jha
Features
155 views
Features
155 views

Academic Armchair: ‘Cinderella, you shall go to the ball”: a conversation with Ketan Jha

Devin Thomas - March 23, 2018

In this week’s edition of the Academic Armchair the Features team sat down with Ketan Jha, an associate tutor of Sussex Law School. Alongside his work in…