Jobs security row at college

Blackpool and the Fylde College
Blackpool and the Fylde College
Have your say

College bosses have rubbished union claims about job insecurity – but have refused to reveal how many staff are employed on insecure contracts.

Blackpool and The Fylde College bosses have reacted angrily after the University and College Union named and shamed the facility as being among the UK’s worst offenders for insecure employment of academic teaching staff, according to reports on precarious employment.

We know that a teacher’s ability to do a good job is compromised if they are on an insecure contract

Mike Gallagher, Interim Director of Human Resources, said: “Blackpool and The Fylde College has a very productive relationship with the local branch of UCU.

“We are extremely disappointed by UCU claims about B&FC which are factually inaccurate, both in terms of our response and the data presented.”

However, the college refused to state how many staff were on permanent contracts.

The report on further education names Blackpool and The Fylde College, in the top 50 worst offenders for insecure employment.

It says Blackpool and The Fylde College employs more than half (55.1 per cent) of teaching staff on insecure contracts.This specifically refers to staff on variable hours contracts, hourly-paid contracts, term-time only contracts and staff employed by agencies.

In January, the union wrote to all universities and colleges asking them to stop using zero-hours contracts and to work with UCU to review the use of all forms of non-permanent contracts.

The University of Lancaster responded positively, referring to ongoing work to address insecure employment.

However, Blackpool College refused the offer of joint working in its response to UCU, the union said.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said the report showed that a damaging ‘hire and fire’ zero-hours culture was flourishing in the sector

She added : “ We know that a teacher’s ability to do a good job is compromised if they are on an insecure contract.

“We need colleges to engage in better workforce planning that gives staff stable jobs.

“Such a huge proportion of insecure contracts has real potential to undermine the future of high-quality education at these institutions.