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30 September 2014
Strathclyde Students’ Association bans zero-hours contracts

Strathclyde Students’ Association bans zero-hours contracts

One of the largest Student’s Associations in the country has stopped the use of zero-hours contracts at the Student’s Union.

Zero-hours contracts had been used for casual and catering members of staff at the University of Strathclyde Student’s Union, but the Students’ Association (USSA) has decided providing staff with better working conditions and an improved quality of life should be a priority.

USSA president, Gary Paterson, said: “Many of our casual staff are students who require flexibility and security; we can provide both without the need for zero-hours contracts.

“We also recognise that our non-student staff work tirelessly to ensure students are supported in making the most of their university life.”

Zero hours contracts have been a point of political contention. The contracts enable employers to offer workers no guarantee of hours, but can prevent employees taking on other work.

It is estimated that there are at least 1.4 million workers on zero-hours contracts in the UK, Earlier this year, Business Secretary Vince Cable called for exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts to be abolished.

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna told the Labour conference last week the contracts are “exploitative”, but research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has said the form of employment has been unfairly demonised and over-simplified. Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: "Our research shows that the majority of people employed on these contracts are satisfied with their jobs." 

Paterson disagrees. “We believe zero-hours contracts should become a thing of the past. If we can do it, so can other businesses and organisations. We challenge the university and other public bodies, as well as our wider society, to follow suit,” he said.

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