You may be wondering what it is we’re after. So here’s a useful summary of our aims.
- Good, paid training for all hourly-paid teaching staff (Teaching Associates, Visiting Lecturers and Demonstrators) – as a guideline, School of English and Drama offers £200 for two full days in addition to unpaid training opportunities throughout the year.
- Disaggregating marking from the inclusive hourly rate, so hourly-paid teaching staff are paid for marking per paper and according to word length (as is already the case in the School of Business and Management), or appropriate equivalent if assessments are practice-based.
- Clear job descriptions for all hourly-paid teaching staff.
- Demonstrators paid for preparation (we suggest an hour of preparation for every hour of contact time). We should also minimise use of the demonstrator rate, and ensure that if staff are being asked to perform Teaching Associate roles, such as leading seminars, they should be paid accordingly. In addition, we could recommend the Doctoral college implement a system of monitoring use of demonstrator rates and what tasks they are being asked to perform.
- Staff at all levels should have access to necessary resources. Hourly-paid staff should be provided with functional office space both for preparation and for holding private office hours with students (current facilities are found to be inadequate).
- In the long term we want to see hourly-paid roles fractionalised for more stability, and more permanent positions, as in the case of staff who are staying on years beyond the completion of their PhD on precarious hourly-paid contracts.
- Parity with permanent colleagues on terms and conditions where possible, including learning and development opportunities. This includes access to professional development appraisals, funds for conferences other external training and networking opportunities, and necessary materials.
- Short-term and hourly-paid contracts are shown to have adverse effects on the diversity of staff in the sector; obstacles to career progression for women, black and minority ethnic and disabled academics require active consideration by the college.