Uni is named and shamed

Lancaster University

Lancaster University

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Leading Lancashire educational institutions have been “named and shamed” on an insecurity index.

Lancaster University is among the UK’s worst offenders for insecure employment of academic teaching staff, according to reports on precarious employment published today by the University and College Union.

The report on higher education says that almost six in 10 teaching staff at Lancaster are employed on an insecure contract, ranking it 22nd in a UK-wide ‘insecurity index’ for precarious employment practices.

But, university bosses say they have ” made the conscious decision to employ no staff on zero contracts hours.”

A spokesman said fixed-term contracts are only used infrequently and “where strictly necessary, such as where work only exists because it is linked to a particular short-term funding source or project.”

She added that staff are moved on to permanent contracts wherever possible and added: “The university does engage staff on a casual basis where necessary to meet the needs of flexible teaching provision for example. “

The spokesman said the institution works with trade unions to be a ” good employer” and added: “ We also run an internal temporary employment service (known as the Employment and Recruitment Service) which replaces the need to use external employment agencies and provides valuable temporary and casual employment opportunities for our students along with members of the local community.

“These figures have been included in the UCU report and have therefore distorted the real picture.”