A number of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) have had their contracts cut short due to the coronavirus crisis. GTAs from the School of Social and Political Sciences received an email telling them there would not be enough work available next year for those on two year contracts to complete the second year, and those on one year contracts will not get the chance to extend them. The email also said the School are working on other paid opportunities for Postgraduate research students.
There has been a large online reaction to this decision, with MSP James Kelly contacting Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, as well as UCU Glasgow reaching out to advocate on behalf of the GTAs. SRC President Scott Kirby has also raised the issue with Muscatelli, and said in a statement to the Glasgow Guardian; “We highly value our GTA community, as many of them are PhD students who require an element of teaching to put them in good stead for their futures in academia, and are key and core parts of many aspects of teaching across the University. We will advocate for them to be considered as a central part of the Universities plans for next semester, in whatever form that takes. As we know many GTAs are worried about their futures and where they stand with the University. Hopefully clarity will be given on this in due course.”
A spokesperson for the University of Glasgow said: “At this stage, we are still in the process of assessing our workload needs for the next academic year. We are therefore not yet in a position to issue contracts to graduate teaching assistants. However, we are committed to doing everything we can to protect jobs. We will share more information as soon as we can.”