Petition Closed

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh Principal: Ensure fair treatment of tutors, demonstrators, and hourly-paid staff

This petition had 445 supporters


Petition for the fair treatment of tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff at the University of Edinburgh

According to a survey* carried out by UCU Edinburgh (the trade union representing academic and academic-related staff including postgraduate tutors and demonstrators), many tutors and demonstrators at the University of Edinburgh are not being paid for the actual hours worked. In some cases they do not receive pay for preparation and marking, and in others what they receive is inadequate for the time required. Many do not receive the training they ask for.

Many of these points are illustrated by quotes taken from the survey:

‘There is absolutely no security in my hours of work. I find out sometimes in week 2 of the semester what hours I'll ACTUALLY teach’

‘I'm expected to hold office hours - without an office.’

‘I have been working on HBTN [hours to be notified, i.e. hourly paid] since 2008 without any suggestion whatsoever of training.’

‘I spend 3 days on a lecture and get paid six hours. I spend 6 hours preparing my PG teaching and get paid for only 4’

‘The workload is insane, especially because class preparation, marking, emails etc are not paid at all. On average, I put at least 2.5 hours of time into every hour I get paid.’

UCU Edinburgh is campaigning for a commitment from the University of Edinburgh to fair pay and training for tutors and demonstrators.

We call upon the University’s Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, to take measures to ensure that fair treatment of tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff, is in place by the start of the academic year 2013-2014. This means making financial provision for the demands outlined below:

1.    A fair rate of pay for all hours worked by tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff. This will include sufficient time for preparation, administration, student support, assessment and feedback, including marking. Tutors and demonstrators need to be given sufficient time and pay to provide the feedback crucial to student learning.

2.    Support for ongoing training of tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff. This will include payment for time spent at staff development and training sessions (as is the case for staff on other types of contracts).

3.    Working conditions for tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff, that are comparable to those on permanent, full-time contracts. This will include access to an office space if required.

4.    Increased job security for tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff, involving a transfer of hourly-paid staff to fractional contracts.

Fair treatment of tutors and demonstrators, and other hourly-paid staff, is crucial not only to the well-being of the staff, but also to the quality of the teaching and other work performed. A fair rate of pay for all hours worked, including sufficient time for preparation, administration, student support, assessment (e.g. marking) and feedback, as well as proper training, is needed in order to provide quaility education and feedback to the students.

Please support this petition by adding your signature.

* The survey of hourly-paid staff at the university was carried out by UCU November 2012 - January 2013.



Today: UCU Edinburgh is counting on you

UCU Edinburgh needs your help with “Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, University of Edinburgh Principal: Ensure fair treatment of tutors, demonstrators, and hourly-paid staff”. Join UCU Edinburgh and 444 supporters today.