Sussex Students Union is celebrating a big win for the fairer working conditions of Associate Tutors.
The University brought in new teaching contracts this January for Associate Tutors, postgraduates students who teach, which included several good elements such as improvements to holiday pay, sick pay, etc. Unfortunately, they were wanting to impose an hour cap of 180 hours of teaching, along with a few other problematic elements. This was going to be halved to 90 for part-time students. A lot of PhD students rely on teaching wages to subsidise their studies and help them financially but also for the experience they gain.
The students, along with Rose Taylor, Postgraduate Education Officer, set up a petition voicing concerns about the terms of the new Tutor Contracts and requested a meeting with Vice Chancellor, Adam Tickell, to discuss what could be done. Thanks to the generosity of the University and the recommendation of Adam Tickell, the meeting was a big success. As a result of the petition, the University agreed to remove the hour cap from the contracts until September whilst they review further. All other elements of the contracts will go ahead as planned. This was a big success from PhD student campaigning.
Mareike, a PhD student who was involved in the campaign:
"We are very happy that the VC has agreed to review the contract. The hour cap of 180 / 90 was unworkable, particularly for part-time doctoral researchers. We look forward to working together on improving the Associate Tutor contract in the coming months in order to ensure a better recognition of the work that we do as teachers and researchers. "