Hands Off Our Koma: Stand Up for Job Security with Unlimited Term Contracts!

 Jun 30, 2023  Unlimited Term Contracts, UTC 

Join the Hands Off Our Koma (HOOK) campaign led by the General Union (GU) to protect university teachers’ job security. You can start your participation in our campaign by simply filling in this survey. It’s a good starting point on your road to standing up for yourself and your colleagues: https://uni.generalunion.org/gimme-a-UTC

We want to emphasize the importance of unlimited-term contracts (UTCs) and encourage both union members and non-members to take part in this critical campaign. By participating and pushing for your right to an unlimited-term contract, you can secure your future and make a significant impact on job security within universities.

The HOOK Campaign: Since 2010, the GU has been running the Hands Off Our Koma campaign to prevent cuts in koma (lessons) for university teachers. This proactive approach ensures that members’ koma remains intact, safeguarding their livelihoods. By collectively telling universities to keep their “Hands Off Our Koma,” the GU has achieved positive outcomes, with the majority of universities respecting union members’ demands.

Unlimited Term Contracts (UTCs): UTCs are a crucial element of job security for part-time university teachers. After five years of continuous employment, eligible individuals have the right to apply for an unlimited-term contract. This provision, based on Article 8 of the Labour Contract Law, aims to enhance job security and protect teachers’ interests.

Unlimited Term Contracts Under Attack by Universities: while the Labour Contract Law is clear that after five years of continuous employment, you have the right to a UTC, some universities are taking advantage of two laws regarding research at university to force teachers to work 10 years before applying. Courts have thus far been unanimous in knocking down this 10-year con and stating that it is clear that most part-time teachers in universities are not involved in research and therefore these 10-year loopholes are not applicable.

Other universities are even going a step further and adding a 10-year or 5-year cap to employees’ employment. They do this to prevent any chance of an employee getting an unlimited term contract.

The Power of Unlimited Term Contracts: While there may be differing opinions on whether koma can be cut with UTCs, the GU firmly believes that employers should not have the authority to arbitrarily reduce koma for teachers with unlimited term contracts. The spirit of the law supports job security and the preservation of teaching opportunities. By applying for and obtaining UTCs, you are asserting your rights and ensuring that your employment remains stable.

Raising Awareness and Taking Action: The GU urges all university teachers, whether union members or not, to join the campaign and actively pursue their right to an unlimited term contract. By spreading the word and sharing our campaign leaflet, you can educate your colleagues about the benefits of UTCs and motivate them to participate. The more individuals who apply for UTCs, the greater the impact we can make on job security in universities, particularly for part-time teachers.

GU Soon to Take Offensive: We are now putting universities that apply employment caps, abuse the 10-year exception, and/or cut teacher koma on notice that we are preparing a fightback against these practices that worsen employment security. Members are planning a campaign aimed both directly at universities and at the national government which polices the universities to smash through these barriers that are being put up to circumvent the letter and spirit of the law.

Don’t wait for cuts to happen; take a proactive stance in securing your future. Participate in the Hands Off Our Koma campaign, apply for an unlimited term contract, and openly advocate for job security in universities. The General Union is here to support you every step of the way. Join us today and let your voice be heard—say “Hands Off Our Koma” and ensure a stable and secure working environment for yourself and your colleagues.

Remember, knowledge is power. Share our campaign with your friends and colleagues, and together we can create a lasting impact on job security in the academic community. Take action now and secure your future with unlimited term contracts!

Survey: https://uni.generalunion.org/gimme-a-UTC
UTC application form: https://gu.generalunion.org/UTCapp
UTC stories: https://generalunion.org/?s=UTC
GU at universities: http://www.generalunion.org/uni

Download and share our HOOK leaflet