At the UCU Cradle to Grave conference on Saturday 16 February, Angela Rayner reinforced Labour’s commitment to ending zero hours contracts. I asked her what Labour’s plans would be for ending other forms of casualisation beyond zero hours (which they intend to do in every sector) and cited the extensive misuse of fixed term contracts in FE and HE and the problems with the research funding model in Higher Education. She reassured the audience that Labour would do all it could to bring about secure work for staff in our sector. Labour’s policy position on casualisation and secure work has been heavily influenced by working closely with UCU and other unions, and I am really glad to have been able to play a role alongside the rest of the Anti-Casualisation Committee in promoting a fuller understanding in the Labour party of the issues we face in our sector.
We have worked closely in the wider policy context for a long time to promote and support those trying to bring about a positive change. We urgently need positive reform to expand and strengthen employment rights in the UK, but while we fight for that it matters that we pursue every opportunity to improve the current situation and extract commitments we can hold our politicians to account for in the future.