'Alarming' use of contracts breaches EU rules

6th June 2003 at 01:00
A SURVEY of CLA members on part-time and temporary contracts has revealed "alarming statistics" which the union says are a damning reflection of FE employment practices in Scotland.

Fifty-five per cent of 339 lecturers who replied had been working on such contracts, 42 per cent of them for longer than four years.

Guidance from the CLA executive to branches is that, in accordance with EU regulations on the "prevention of less favourable treatment" for fixed-term employees, the number of such posts should be reduced and a limit placed on their use in the future.

The union is also pressing for permanent contracts "as the normal form of employment". Fixed-term contracts should only be used "where there are transparent, necessary and objective" reasons.

The regulations state that temporary contracts should become permanent after staff have been on two or more contracts for four years unless another fixed-term contract can be justified. Just over half of those in the CLA survey said they wanted a permanent post.

The regulations also define equal treatment as including access to training. Sixty per cent of the CLA members said they had difficulty gaining access to in-service training and staff development.

Sixty-one per cent of lecturers believe they are given responsibility for the most difficult classes, while 51 per cent believe overuse of these contracts undermines student participation and confidence.

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