Resolving sensitive staff contract issues

Issues around contracts can be one of the most difficult and  challenging.  Understanding or trying to address issues  can be both confusing and intimidating for individual employees.

While universities regularly resort to temporary contracts as a money saving strategy, often also what may seem a difficult situation can be quickly resolved by IFUT through negotiation and clarification with college authorities.  IFUT seeks to resolve a range of such cases on a very regular basis.

Below we highlight a letter from one of our members which was quickly resolved. 

“I had a permanent part-time contract at a university but while I was on maternity leave, a full-time contract in the same role came up and was given to another member of staff. On my return to work  I queried this decision with HR:  How could a better contract have been given to a more junior member of staff and why had I not been informed of this new contract. 

I got no satisfaction from HR who told me that the appointment was made in line with their policies and that they could not discuss another member of staff’s contract with me. 

I was very reluctant to cause any conflict within my unit or the university but I felt I was being dealt with unfairly so I contacted IFUT by e-mail.  I received a phone call in which the process of questioning this HR decision was laid out clearly.  I understood that, even if this process was started, I could decide to opt out at any time if I felt satisfied with their response, or uncomfortable with the process.

I was able to voice my concerns with IFUT about damaging relationships with management and was given good advice on how to navigate this.  In the end the case was resolved quickly and without any fuss, and I was awarded a full-time contract.  I am certain that I would not have been able to achieve this without the intervention of IFUT.”

If you have any issue related to contracts please contact IFUT directly.  We will quickly advise on how best to address the issue, clarify the strength of your claim or grievance and recommend whether direct contact with the college or industrial relations procedures are the most appropriate to address the issue.