The UCU anti-casualisation working group is campaigning to reverse the spread of casualisation – the conversion of stable, secure jobs into short term, part-time, temporary or hourly paid work. These terms are bad for staff and bad for universities, but are rapidly becoming the norm in higher education.


Cambridge Researchers Report highlights pay pressures, job insecurity and “a culture of overwork”

Cambridge UCU Researchers Campaign has released a report summarising the key findings of a survey we undertook in 2023. You can read an extract from the report conclusions below. We are continuing to campaign and organise to win a better deal for researchers at Cambridge both in the University and Colleges. Get in touch with […]

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Supervision Work is Real Work: Launching the College Anti-Casualisation Campaign

Cambridge UCU and the Graduate Union have been campaigning in recent years to improve the rights and conditions of casualised teachers in the collegiate university, including through the CUCU anti-casualisation claim in 2018, the negotiations led by CUCU with the University since 2019, and the GU’s work on supporting postgraduate students who teach. We are […]

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Pledge to Raise the Bar for casualised staff


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Casualisation negotiations update

In response to the anti-casualisation claim we sent to the University of Cambridge in December, we are having monthly meeting with the University since March. Read our report of where we are in the negotiations, what we secured, and what is still ongoing. Download the report here.

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Hourly-paid teaching Report

Our new report on hourly-paid teaching reveals the pervasiveness of the casualisation of teaching staff at Cambridge, and its effects on the financial and psychological stability of University workers. The report, based on new data coming from a survey amongst 140 members of the University carried out in October 2018 and a freedom of information […]

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Cambridge University UCU’s Anti-Casualisation Claim: A Summary of the Current Situation

BACKGROUND ‘Casualisation’ is the process through which employers whittle away the protections, rights, and security of their employees. It is a very widespread phenomenon and comes in many forms such as hourly-paid work, zero-hours contracts, temporary workers contracts – always moving workers from secure to insecure contracts. The impact of casualisation on UK academia (including […]

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Casualisation open meeting slides

Missed our casualisation open meeting? Take a look at the slides to know more about our formal claim, submitted at the end of last term, and the findings of our report.  

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Stamp out Casualisation in Cambridge – report

This report is the result of work of Cambridge UCU’s Anti Casualisation working group and outlines major issues TES staff and Hourly Paid Teaching staff have to contend with at the University of Cambridge.     Download our report  

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Anti Casualisation Claim

This claim was submitted to the University in December 2018 and will be the subject of local negotiations to improve pay and conditions for casualised and precarious staff.   Download our anti-casualisation claim

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Our Charter

Its time for action on casualisation in Cambridge. Read our charter on staff rights.

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Current Campaigns


2573 individuals worked on a temporary basis for the University of Cambridge over the past three years. They were hired through the Temporary Employment Service (TES), a professional temporary recruitment service provided by the Human Resources Division of the University.

TES workers are on insecure contracts without entitlement to a minimum notice period prior to the end of their employment, protection against unfair dismissal, the right to request flexible working, time off for emergencies or Statutory Redundancy Pay. They also have minimal pension rights and are only entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (which means they can only claim sick pay after 4 consecutive days).

CUCU is campaigning to improve working condition for TES staff and make sure these insecure contracts are only used for genuinely temporary work.

We would like to hear your opinion if you are yourself on a TES contract or have hired TES workers. Contact:

Hourly-paid work

CUCU is currently running a survey to look into the problems members are reporting with hourly paid work. We will shortly be campaigning to increase pay rates for hourly-paid teaching, to more fairly reflect the preparation time required for the work, and for a more transparent allocation of hourly-paid teaching.

If you would like to be involved in the campaign, contact:


We are also currently designing a survey to look at experiences and working conditions of postdocs at Cambridge. To get involved, contact

Contact us

If you want to talk about casualisation in your department, faculty or college, contact:

Join our mailing list to become a member of the working group and be informed of our progress:
Join here


Anti-Casualisation Officer

Sandra Cortijo