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Hourly paid staff – have you been underpaid ?

Are you an hourly-paid worker?   The University probably owes you money.   The university unlawfully underpaid all hourly-paid staff (those who submit time-sheets) from April 2009. This was noticed in October 2014 by a postgrad student, who told UCU.   UCU pointed out the error to HR, and since October 2014 the University has paid the correct holiday pay (equating to a rise in the hourly rate of pay of around 1.2%). (more…)

Part-time hourly paid staff at University of Bath owed thousands of pounds in unpaid holiday pay

Following an inquiry by one of UCU’s postgrad members, we have learnt that the university has been paying below the statutory minimum in holiday pay. Hourly paid workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid holiday, which the university pays in the form of a ‘rolled up’ element of pay. The minimum payable is 12.07% of the hourly rate, but until recently the university was paying 10.7%. Following representations from UCU the correct rate is being paid from 1st October 2014.  You can check the current hourly rates of pay, which were amended on 1st October to take into account the correct amount of holiday pay.

The university has not, so far, agreed to pay what it owes to hourly paid staff for underpayments for work done before October 1st. UCU and UNISON are both advising hourly paid staff to contact HR about this to claim any unpaid holiday pay. If you need help in setting out your claim please contact

For latest national news see UCU anti-casualisation blog and the new UCU anti-casualisation newsletter.

Branch meeting 7th October 1.15 pm 6E2.1

This is an important branch meeting that will give members a chance to discuss the proposed changes (cuts) to the USS pension scheme.

There are two further important items on the agenda for the meeting:

  • underpayment of holiday pay to part-time hourly paid staff
  • grading of teaching only contracts.

For full details see the meeting agenda

How open are university open days ?

The three unions representing staff at the university have written to Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching):

Dear Bernie

We will be advising prospective students who visit next Thursday’s Open Day to ask a number of questions at all the universities they are visiting before deciding which to apply to.

We thought you might want to see the kinds of questions we will be suggesting prospective students ask here and elsewhere, so that you have a chance to brief staff on how to respond to these.

  • How much of my teaching will be delivered by staff employed on zero hours and temporary contracts ?
  • What is the staff-student ratio at the university?
  • Does the University pay the Living Wage to all staff it employs, including staff on casual contracts?
  • If I take a job working at the University while I am a student will I be paid the Living Wage ?
  • Are the guides who show me around the university paid a Living Wage?
  • What is the ratio of the Vice Chancellor’s annual salary to the pay of the lowest paid members of staff?
  • What will this university do if proposed cuts to Disabled Student Allowance are implemented in 2015 ?
  • Does this university want to see tuition fees rise above their current level of £9000 a year?
  • Does this university believe that student loans should be sold to a private company?
  • What would this university do if its students had the terms and conditions of their loans changed for the worse AFTER they had started the degree programme?

on behalf of UCU, UNISON, Unite

Update:  UCU national have used our letter to produce a national leaflet for use at Open Days across the country


Research staff are not ‘disposable tools’

Bath routinely sacks many of its research staff at the end of their ‘fixed term’ and employs many more on zero hours contracts.   The strike on 31st October is not only about pay – it is also about improving job security for researchers and other staff.  UCU is appealing to research staff to join the strike this Thursday to put pressure on employers to stop treating them as disposable tools’.   More …

UCU challenges use of zero hours contracts

ist for zero hoursUCU has a clear policy against the use of zero hours contracts. There are many names for these contracts but they typically involve an individual undertaking to be available for work but the employer not guaranteeing to provide any work and only paying for the hours worked. Now UCU has agreed to use Freedom of Information requests to get a clear picture of how widespread the use of zero hours contracts has become.


Teaching only contracts – UCU calls for joint review in Bath

During the last year your UCU reps in Bath have raised a number of concerns about staff employed on a range of teaching-only contracts.  These include staff with the job titles of teaching fellow, variable hours teaching fellow, part-time teaching fellow, fractional teaching fellow, casual teaching assistant, GTA.  We have carried out two surveys of staff on teaching only contracts, and these have produced large responses and highlighted a number of common concerns.    We have submitted a summary statement of these concerns to university managers through the formal machinery of negotiation, and we have requested a joint review of the use of teaching only contracts in the university.  We await the Vice Chancellor’s response.

Casual teaching assistants – let’s talk

Over 100 casual staff, mainly teaching assistants, responded to our survey and we have taken the responses into a series of meetings with HR.  Casuals and variable hours staff are excluded from the staff survey, so their voices are not heard by university managers.

UCU has an agreement with the university from 2009 that guarantees fractional contracts to any casual teaching assistant who has worked at least 322 hours (0.2) for more than two years.  Future talks will focus on the implmentation of the agreement and on improving the terms and conditions of the hundreds of TAs not covered by the agreement.  Please sign the UCU petition now if you’ve not yet done that.

Casualisation petition launched

anticasLast week’s day of action against casualisation drew support mainly from the growing number of casual workers on campus. While it is encouraging that casual workers are joining UCU, the campaign needs more support from members who see their positions as ‘secure’. Casualisation threatens the security of all employees, so all should join the action.

We have launched a charter for the treatment of casualised staff, which is attached to this message. Over 100 staff have already signed the petition in support of the charter, and you can help by

– downloading the petition and asking others in your Department to sign

– signing the petition here and passing the link on to others

The petition will be presented at the next meeting in May of the Joint Academic Consultation and Negotiation Committee, and the charter will form the basis of our negotiations with HR.

Casual hourly paid staff

Dear colleague

We the undersigned members of staff at Bath University support the Charter for the treatment of casualised staff
We are seeking a commitment from our employer on the following:
1. A fair rate of pay for all hours worked by hourly-paid staff including sufficient time for preparation, marking, administration, student support and scholarly activity.
2. Annual pay rises and incremental progression for all staff.
3. Working conditions for staff on casualised contracts that are comparable to those on permanent, full-time contracts.
4. Increased job security for staff currently on casualised contracts – transferring hourly-paid to full-time or fractional permanent contracts,
and fixed-term staff to permanent contracts.
5. Ensuring systems are in place that significantly reduce the risk of redundancies for all staff including those on hourly-paid, fixed-term contracts or whose posts are underpinned by fixed-term external funding eg redundancy avoidance committees, effective redeployment and retraining policies.
6. No zero-hours contracts to be used.
7. Ensuring staff are employed on contracts that state they are employees and not give bogus self-employment status.
8. Fair treatment and pay for postgraduates who teach.
9. Support for ongoing access to professional development opportunities.
10. For staff that leave the sector, increased support for careers outside HE eg specialist career support and training.


55 signatures

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UCU action against casualisation Wednesday March 6th. Join us !

anticasOver 100 casual teaching staff responded to our brief survey of changes to their pay and conditions.  We highlight some of their concerns in our latest newsletter.  As a result of what the casual teaching staff told us we are supporting the UCU National Day of Action against Casualisation this Wednesday 6th March.  We will be outside the Library from 12-2 – join us there.