Academics have hit out at a “disgraceful” job advertisement for a teaching fellow at the University of Edinburgh that offers no pay over the summer.
The part-time role in English literature, on a 17-and-a-half hours a week contract, covers a temporary absence from September 2019 to December 2020 and comes with a salary of £33,199 to £39,609 per annum, pro rata.
The original job advertisement said the “post will be pay suspended during the months of July and August 2020 when no work will be available”.
It has subsequently been amended to say that “for the months of July and August working hours will be zero” and that “salary is calculated on an annualised basis and paid in 12 equal monthly instalments initially”.
An open letter calling on Edinburgh to do the “decent thing” and pay all its staff for the entire duration of their contract attracted more than 300 signatures in less than 24 hours after being launched by Anindya Raychaudhuri, a lecturer in English at the University of St Andrews.
The letter sets out “how anyone who has had any kind of teaching-only position in higher education knows” that they are always expected to work over the summer.
“I don’t believe the new wording changes any of the actual conditions of the job,” Dr Raychaudhuri told Times Higher Education. “You still don’t get paid for the work you do over the summer. I think it is absolutely disgraceful.”
Grant Buttars, president of the University and College Union’s Edinburgh branch, said that the job advert should be removed and that Edinburgh should “ensure all posts are properly remunerated”.
UK universities’ use of nine-month contracts that cover only the main academic year has proved controversial, with frequent calls for them to be scrapped.
“I think there are many, many issues with nine-month contracts, but if anything this goes further,” said Dr Raychaudhuri.
An Edinburgh spokesman said the original job advert “contained an error, which has since been corrected”.
“We value the work of our teaching fellows,” the spokesman said. “We have recently agreed with the trade unions further improvements around pay and conditions, which mean staff will get a guaranteed salary every month, regardless of the pattern of their work.”
Print headline: Fury over fellowship with summer pay vacation
Register to continue
Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.
Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:
- Sign up for the editor's highlights
- Receive World University Rankings news first
- Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
- Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Or subscribe for unlimited access to:
- Unlimited access to news, views, insights & reviews
- Digital editions
- Digital access to THE’s university and college rankings analysis
- Unrestricted access to the UK and global edition of the THE app on IOS, Android and Kindle Fire
Already registered or a current subscriber? Sign in now