Casualisation charter

August 11, 2000

Readers will not fall for the spin Tom Wilson tries to place on Natfhe's endorsement of the employers' "Guide to good practice in fixed term and casual employment" (Letters, THES, August 4).

The employers' guide allows the use of casual contracts when "funding is of short-term duration" or to meet "uncertain student or other business demand". It is difficult to think of a single academic or related job not covered by one definition - or both. The guide is no more than a charter for casualisation.

Furthermore, it makes reference to comments in the Bett report about the suggested removal of the university statute that protects academic freedom. This statute is alleged to be an impediment to effective management because it requires pre-1992 universities to follow fair procedures, determined by the Privy Council, before dismissing staff.

It is deplorable that an academic union is prepared to be linked with a posture clearly in breach of international conventions on academic freedom.

Alan Carr President Association of University Teachers

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