New terms have been negotiated for Associate Tutors between Sussex University and the University College Union.

The new conditions will see the removal of insecure employment contracts, with zero-hour contracts being scrapped.

These new changes promise significant pay rises, enhanced benefits and set hours for Associate Tutors, that will take effect from the 1st of January 2017.

Last week the UCU held an ‘Anti-casualisation’ event at the University, where an experienced employment lawyer answered questions on part-time rights.

The UCU also used this as an occasion to answer any questions relating to the new local agreement.

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sussex, said: “We’re pleased with the outcome of these constructive negotiations with the UCU, which have resulted in us agreeing to end the use of zero-hours contracts for teaching delivery”.

He described the new agreement as a great outcome for the University’s tutors, who play an important role at the university.

Thanking the negotiating team from UCU, Mr Tickell said that significant improvements were made during the discussions, particularly in regard to the original proposals around pay, holiday provision and sick pay.

He said: “We want to ensure our staff have an excellent teaching experience at Sussex where they feel appropriately rewarded and recognised for the work they do”.

The Postgraduate Education Officer for Sussex’ Student Union, Rose Taylor, said: “It’s great that UCU and the University have finally come to an agreement over the contracts. I really hope that the new contracts really do improve working conditions for all Associate Tutors at Sussex”.

She added: “Too many PhD students’ degrees and lives have been negatively impacted by poor pay and casualised contracts”.

Ms Taylor hopes that the new agreement will be the start of a commitment to truly valuing the work that Associate Tutor’s do, treating them as any other employee should expect to be treated.

UCU did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

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