Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/736/15366
No to slave labour in universities
Jenny Thatcher, PhD student, in a personal capacity
Postgraduate research students are increasingly being used as slave labour to cut teaching costs at universities. PhD students are being used as teachers to replace more expensive senior staff.
For example the University of East London (UEL) is advertising volunteering jobs, including teaching and lab assistants, which would clearly require someone who has spent several years in higher education.
This is another disgusting example of the exploitation of UEL students and staff. The timing is appalling.
UEL staff are fighting increased workloads, are in fear for their jobs and are taking two-day strike action soon.
It is another means of reducing paid work opportunities at UEL. To make it worse a UEL student union sabbatical officer has posted this on the UELSU Facebook as 'a good opportunity for students'
A senior academic recently commented in a meeting with PhD students that if they wanted teaching experience they should shadow their supervisors, ie work for free.
A number of PhD students have already had their wages cut from £47 to £17 an hour. Some have even signed contracts for £47 but are being paid the reduced rate.
But UEL PhD students across different schools are having an emergency meeting to discuss the organising of postgraduate teachers at UEL.
In The Socialist 3 October 2012:
Education news & analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party news and analysis