Sussex

While there is not yet an umbrella anti-casualisation campaign at the University of Sussex, there are a number of more localised activities. PhD students in the School of Life Sciences, for example, are currently campaigning for back pay for unpaid teaching. The School offered a number of studentships as part of a match-funding arrangement with the Medical Research Council (MRC), with students being funded either by the MRC or by Sussex. Students were made to take on large teaching loads for no remuneration, being told that the work was a condition of their studentships. MRC-funded students have succeeded in winning thousands of pounds in back-pay from the university, arguing that the unpaid teaching contravened Research Councils UK (RCUK) rules. Internally funded students are now seeking the same redress.

Conditions at Sussex still vary wildly between departments, but associate tutors (ATs) have been fortunate in recent years in having committed PGR representatives in the students' union, a number of postgrad reps in the UCU branch and PhD reps within individual departments. A planned overhaul of AT contracts, which was first mooted in 2014 and threatened to worsen conditions for a large number of junior teaching staff at the university, appears to have been put on hold (if not killed off) by the effective expression of mass opposition — including discussions about direct action — through these channels.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License