We understand that the subject of the conditions and pay for postgraduates who teach has been the subject of significant debate across the institution. Last year the Provost and the Registrar met with a large group of postgraduates who were engaged in teaching and related activities within academic departments at Warwick. This meeting raised concerns about how these responsibilities are managed and remunerated across different departments. In response there have been ongoing discussions at the Board of Graduate Studies and the Academic Quality and Standards Committee where a framework for governance and oversight of arrangements for postgraduates engaged in teaching has been developed. Alongside this we have been designing a practical way of implementing and administering greater consistency of pay and support and developed Teach Higher as a pilot vehicle for achieving this.
Addressing transparency and fair pay is the right thing to do. However, in feedback and discussions there has been a far greater focus on Teach Higher as the vehicle for administering this than on actually achieving the outcome of fair pay for our hourly-paid teaching staff. We recognise that ongoing scrutiny of Teach Higher has become a distraction and Teach Higher should be disbanded.
Instead each department involved in the pilot will be responsible for developing its own approach based on the principles of transparency and fairness around nationally-agreed rates of pay. This will extend to all hourly paid staff and other sessional staff and not just postgraduate research students involved in teaching. Each of the pilot departments will be accountable to the Academic Resourcing Committee with project support from Human Resources. Warwick Employment Group’s role in the pilot will be to provide shared technical and IT infrastructure.
Clearly, addressing these inconsistencies will cost more and the University is making provision in its financial plan for the additional cost of the pilot.
We will use the pilot to determine the most appropriate approach for roll out to all academic departments.
For any queries, please contact the Director of HR at Gillian dot McGrattan at warwick dot ac dot uk.