It’s been a little over a month since Warwick Anti-Casualisation submitted its Six Demands for fair teaching conditions at Warwick to the University’s management. Since then, we’ve seen real progress at the very highest echelons of the University, with WAC members meeting Vice Chancellor Stuart Croft to discuss the future of hourly paid teaching at Warwick and negotiations on setting up a framework for collective bargaining for hourly paid tutors starting soon.
However, it is important that we press our demands at all levels of the University hierarchy. For this reason, it is particularly exciting to be able to announce that the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies have decided to endorse WAC’s 6 Demands. It is excellent to see this solidarity between full time and hourly paid academics, both of whom are concerned about the real dangers to teachers and students posed by a system that forces teachers to prepare their classes hurriedly, for little pay and with the threat of job insecurity hanging over their heads.
It is especially important that Departments adopt a just stance towards hourly paid teaching pay and conditions at a time when the Sessional Teaching Project (STP) is being piloted in numerous Departments and coming to its conclusion soon. The STP is ostensibly a pilot scheme designed to review teaching conditions at Warwick, yet it has excluded the voices of actual hourly paid teachers from the start. By lobbying our Departments – including both full time faculty and Heads of Departments – we can make sure that the concerns of casualised teachers are taken into account during this review process.
As such, WAC invites hourly paid teachers, and concerned students and faculty members more generally, to encourage their Departments to follow the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies in officially endorsing the content of the six demands for fair teaching at Warwick at their departmental or faculty meetings.
This is a concrete and meaningful display of solidarity that faculty members can take to support the campaign of hourly paid tutors for fair pay and conditions. The University cares deeply about Departments’ positions on the remuneration and employment conditions of hourly paid tutors, hence these official endorsements send a very strong message about the collective will of the University’s academic community, one that cannot be ignored.
Moreover, if a Department has taken a supportive stance towards hourly paid teachers, it is crucial that they make this known to the University’s management – whether that be the VC or other members of the University Senate.
We must keep the pressure up to ensure that teachers and students get a fair deal at Warwick!