Two academics are suing Oxford University for employing them as gig economy workers in a case which draws on the landmark ruling that gave Uber drivers the right to paid holidays and a pension.
The two lecturers were employed on fixed-term “personal services” contracts to teach on Oxford’s creative writing course for 15 years, but these were not renewed in 2022.
Jolly added that universities use writers’ CVs to market their creative writing courses, yet often they “will only offer zero-hours contracts which offer no job security and sometimes pay as little as £25 an hour” – which doesn’t factor in preparation time.
The only people who would take such jobs are those writers who cannot make £25 an hour – not including preparation time – from creative writing. And why would you want to employ creative writing teachers who cannot make more than £25 an hour – not including preparation time – from creative writing on anything more than the most limp part-time contract? That’s 3 or 4 cents a word – without preparation time – and even the third and fourth ranks of internet writing make that. Moderately competent Amazon only romance novels make that.
Why would you hire someone who cannot achieve that on a permanent or higher paid contract?