The UCU is now calling on colleges to follow the University in paying supervisors for compulsory trainingRebecca Tyson/Varsity

The University and College Union (UCU) has claimed that the University will require faculties to pay for any extra supervisor training in a“first win on paid training”.

On Twitter yesterday (9/5), the UCU thanked “years of relentless work and organising by casualised workers” for the new policy and said “the moral arc of the universe is… bending towards justice”.

According to the UCU, all undergraduate supervisors must undertake five hours of compulsory training, but faculties often require additional unpaid training hours. The new change means that supervisors will now be paid for those extra hours.

PhD student and #JusticeforCollegeSupervisors co-organiser Matthew Lloyd Roberts said that “supervisors have forced the University to rethink its position” and that they are “really glad that the University has shown some willingness to change its policy”.

Despite this, they said it is “only the first and most basic step in making supervisors’ conditions more just”.

Last term, the Justice for College Supervisors campaign hand-delivered postcards demanding paid training, as well as fair wages and full employment contracts. In a comment, organiser Simina Dragos said “we still have not been invited to formal negotiations”.  

The campaign is holding a rally outside Clare College on the 27th May where their representatives will be meeting with the senior tutors for the first time.

Broader strike action for better pay and working conditions took place across the country earlier this year, with picket lines appearing across various University sites.

Following the strikes, the University agreed to formally recognise the Cambridge branch of the UCU. The union began their “Recognition NOW” campaign in 2021.

Cambridge UCU has said that it will now call on colleges to follow the broader University on the supervisor training issue.

A spokesperson for the University told Varsity: “This matter will be considered by the General Board’s Education Committee, before a consultation of Faculties and Departments takes place about a guidance document relating to this issue.”