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Did you know that if you have worked as an HPL at UEL for 4 semesters in a row (2 years) you have employment rights?! This includes proper notice that your employment will be ending and the right to be redeployed to another position
if suitable work is available. (more…)

How will it affect my pension?

In previous one-day strikes it has been the experience of UCU that most university employers do not withhold superannuation contributions and therefore participation in strike action has not generally affected pensions. Also, institutions that do choose to withhold contributions often make provision for members to make up pension and AVC deficits from their pay. If you are concerned about any effect, contact Geraldine Egan at UCU (


MIS-USE of temporary staff at UeL

MacJobs contract surfaces again at UEL

We thought this had all gone following the signing of the Framework and Part-Time Pay and Grading Agreements but UCU have reports of the misuse of temporary staff at UEL despite these agreed policies.  The Pay and Grading Agreement set out the categories of Part-Time staff at UEL and sought to  protect part-time staff (particularly Hourly Paid staff) and prevent exploitation.  It appears that one School is offering £2k to individuals (not even given the title of lecturer) to Module lead.  For this they are responsible for all teaching and marks, processing of marks, attendance at Boards etc.  They do not receive holiday or sick pay but are paid travel expenses!  This is a cynical attempt by one school to circumvent agreed policy on the employment of part-time staff and any good HR department should have prevented this.   The implications of this development is of concern for all members and a suitable response to about this issue to management must be discussed at the branch meeting.

Hourly Paid Staff

Linked to workloads is another issue that is surfacing in some schools about HPLs.  Programme Leaders in ADI have been advised that there are to be no HPLs next semester.  Some staff are being asked to teach more or to agree to large group teaching i.e., one staff member with 70-100 students for 3  hours in what is called ‘workshops’.  This wrong on so many levels but is perverse when considered in relation to student experience. (more…)

Life on a casual contract

The Times Higher Education has launched a weekly blog detailing the daily struggles, petty indignities and insecurities of academic life on casual contracts. The idea is to start a debate in a similar vein to the one that kicked off with their Bullied Blogger’s weekly posts. The first blog in this new series can be found here.