Employment contracts

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Shirley

Gender: Female / Current Role: Research Assistant

WHO WAS INVOLVED?

A colleague.

WHAT HAPPENED?

A valued colleague was repeatedly overlooked for promotion and recognition despite the fact that she is an excellent and diligent researcher.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME?

Frustrated.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOU DO TO TRY TO RESOLVE IT?

I tried to be a good support emotionally and professionally. We worked together to develop a professional network outside of our institution, and this has opened up opportunities.

WHO, IF ANYONE, DID YOU GO TO FOR HELP? (INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL TO YOUR ORGANISATION)

External research support organisation.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THIS?

Positive, my colleague and I both benefitted from peer support and networking opportunities.

HOW LONG AGO DID THIS HAPPEN?

18 months ago.

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Jen

Gender: Female / Current Role: HPT Teacher

WHO WAS INVOLVED?

Human resources and my school manager  

WHAT HAPPENED?

They did not give me my contract before starting to teach.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME?

Powerless.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOU DO TO TRY TO RESOLVE IT?

Organised myself with other colleagues.

WHO, IF ANYONE, DID YOU GO TO FOR HELP? (INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL TO YOUR ORGANISATION)

We organised within all people with the same case (all non EU).

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THIS?

It happened twice.

HOW LONG AGO DID THIS HAPPEN?

Eight months ago and again five months ago.

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D.

Gender: Non-binary / Current Role: Research Associate

WHO WAS INVOLVED?

Head of Department.

WHAT HAPPENED?

I had a teaching fellow contract. Contracts were changed across the university unilaterally: teaching fellows taught and research fellows researched. Exclusively. Prior to this, a teaching fellow taught 70% and researched 30%, for a research fellow this was reversed. However, the university ended this by removing research activity from teacher fellows and teaching activity from research fellows.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME?

Angry. Frustrated. Upset. So very disappointed. Shattering actually. And powerless.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOU DO TO TRY TO RESOLVE IT?

I had a meeting with the HoD to request a small percentage of time for research i.e. anything from 1 to 30% would have been something.

WHO, IF ANYONE, DID YOU GO TO FOR HELP? (INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL TO YOUR ORGANISATION)

No-one. I was on a part-time contract at the time and couldn't afford union fees.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THIS?

I was told that if I wanted to research I should apply for a research job or I did research in the evenings and at weekends. I pointed out this was exploitative and the HoD said "we've all had to do it". I was also doing my PhD part-time at that point. I applied for a research job in another university 450 miles away. Got the job but had to move.

HOW LONG AGO DID THIS HAPPEN?

10 years.

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