Long and short of job contracts

January 22, 1999

Casualisation is damaging to staff morale and impedes recruitment and retention of high-quality graduates into teaching and research.

Employers like to think that contract research staff go through a brief period, say, three years, of short-term contract employment before moving to more secure jobs. This is not the case.

It suits universities to hold to the fiction of the three-year employment model because it allows them to ignore their real responsibilities to contract research staff. Is it honest to recruit graduates when no credible career path or career structure exists?

Thomas W. Redpath, Senior lecturer, University of Aberdeen.

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