UCU warned that the extensive use of zero-hours contracts in Scottish universities was bad for lecturers and bad for students.

The union has submitted evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee’s inquiry into the use of zero-hours contracts ahead of today’s (14th October) deadline for submissions.

Last month the union published data on the use of zero-hours contracts in universities obtained through Freedom of Information requests. Fifteen of the 19 higher education institutions in Scotland said they used zero-hours contracts for teaching, research or academic related staff. The data demonstrated that the use of zero-hours contracts was higher in Scottish universities than in the UK as a whole. Following the release of UCU’s report, the University of Edinburgh said it will outlaw the use of zero-hours contracts.

UCU Scotland official, Mary Senior, said: “The use of zero-hours and other casual contracts is the murky underworld of our universities. These contracts offer no job security for staff and limited continuity for students.

UCU is delighted to be making breakthroughs on moving away from zero-hours contracts at the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.  We want to see the government taking a clear stand on these contracts, and to introduce legislative protection against such exploitation.”