Campaign concerns

February 25, 2005

Patricia McManus has been an hourly paid lecturer in the English department at Sussex University for seven years. She is part of an associate tutors' campaign group organised by the Association of University Teachers.

"Any move towards a minimum wage is welcome, but the key point is to ensure that it covers preparation time, administration and assessment," she said.

She also wants hourly paid staff to have the chance to do research and to develop their own courses. "We are treated as teaching assistants, but if we are to develop we need to be better integrated."

Another of her concerns is that hours can vary from term to term. "This means income varies. There is an element of patronage in the system that is unhelpful."

In 2004, Sussex produced the Kedward report - a review of its treatment of hourly paid staff. Ms McManus said: "The report was welcome but universities need to recognise that hourly paid staff are increasingly angry at their conditions."

Carol Kedward, director of studies at Sussex, said: "We take this issue very seriously. We are seeking a properly co-ordinated response across the university to ensure that all tutors are supported."

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