Could you cope with eight different jobs a week?

Could you cope with eight different jobs a week? Alice did it last year trying to make ends meet. It’s not the lifestyle you imagine for a highly educated associate lecturer. Insecure work isn’t something you’d normally associate with the world of academia. The BBC reports.

“It’s just exhausting. You’ve got no security. And you’ve always got to be scouting for work for the next term or academic year.”

She’s currently on a contract with four hours of guaranteed teaching a week in term time at a university in the south of England. She gets paid £40 an hour, which includes her preparation and marking.

I’m usually doing many more hours on top of that, unpaid, to get all the work done. If you’re teaching a new module, it works out less than the minimum wage because of all the extra hours demanded to do the role, from reading time to liaising with students. I would say it’s poverty wages.”

Alice has just finished her PhD, teaching along the way. Last year she found herself shuttling between three different higher education institutions, doing five to six hours in each. She also worked in a bar and taught in schools to top up her pay.

Alice says that, in her department, there are more people being paid by the hour than there are full-time staff – and they are also doing most of the teaching.

So how much teaching in our universities is being delivered by academics who are hourly paid or on insecure contracts?

Jonathan White, the University and College Union’s (UCU) bargaining policy and negotiating official, says: “We’ve argued for years that a lot of the teaching in universities is, in fact, done by people precariously employed, struggling to make ends meet and universities have been trying to sweep it under the carpet.”

Read the full article Could you cope with eight different jobs a week?

Is your working life like this? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin 

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!


Need to know: What is behind Ofsted's rash of surprise school inspections?
The university pension strike will only end when we’re listened to
Categories: Employment, Higher Education and University.


  1. It’s indeed sometimes a must to have several jobs at a time. It happened so that I worked at Medaille College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
    Before, I was an intern in the factory. The enterprise on which I passed the internship is called Medaille Factory of Automobile Cranes. The management on which I pass the practice is called “Office of Information Technologies and Communications”. This department is engaged in the development and implementation of automated information systems management company, “Price control”, “Marketing”.
    In general, the company can offer more than 20 types of services, including the use of state-of-the-art information technology.
    In the introductory lesson I passed a job brief, got acquainted with the rules of the internal order, the structure of the enterprise.
    That was my experience.
    Teacher, author, personal statement writer and engineer.

Let us know what you think...