2.10 The tutor contract
The Statement of Service outlines the services that are available to support tutors at the OU. Tutor Services are available to support the tutor role and provides:
- A tutor website (like the resources highlighted in section 2.1)
- Advice and guidance
- Staff development.
Under the current contract, each appointment letter raised for a tutor specifies the length of the appointment and the period of months that the module is presented. Tutors may be contracted to teach on every presentation, a single presentation or an alternate presentation basis. A definition of the three types of appointment patterns is given in section 2.11.
The New AL Contract
The tutor contract is currently undergoing a process of change with the ‘new AL contract’.
The current contract dates back to 2002, and the initial negotiations to reform the contract began in 2008. In 2014/15, the Vision for a new permanent contract was agreed.
This was reviewed in 2017 and it was agreed that negotiations would resume, building on the previously agreed principles and Vision. Since January 2018, negotiations to date have remained on track.
A new AL contract will represent a significant change to how the University engages and organises its Associate Lecturer/Tutor workforce and is central to the OU Strategic Plan to 2021-22. Approved by the University’s Council in March 2019, the strategy emphasises that ensuring student success continues to be the main strategic objective and outlines the specific aim of implementing the new tutor contract to ensure greater integration of ALs in order to meet this objective.
The AL contract is a key enabler to sustain and improve tuition, assessment and student support. It is central to delivering student success through excellent teaching and scholarship.
Implementation of the new contract will take place over 2020/21. The OU is working to ensure a transition that meets the agreed principles of the new contract and are negotiating how ALs will transfer from their current contract to the new one.