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Notes on negotiating rates for
Teaching and training

These are some things to remember when negotiating rates and terms for teaching and training. And please send us your accounts of successful negotiations.

  • Teachers and trainers need to be clear about copyright in any supporting material they produce. Academic staff, in particular, tend to assume that everyone in the world is both academic and on staff: and the academic papers they write serve the economic function of advertising, the point of which is to get them a higher salary - so some feel it is no skin off their nose to assign all rights to the college, or even to pay a journal to publish their paper.
  • If offered a written contract, go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If none is offered, the teacher should write confirming the engagement and specifying, for example, that they will grant a licence to use supporting material during the year in which they are engaged but that further use will require a separate licence.
  • The rates are suggested as minima from which freelances will negotiate upward according to their experience and specialist knowledge.
  • We cannot say it f: both sides need to be clear on how many hours' actual work is expected, compared to the notional "teaching hours" paid for. For instance, most educational clients will pay on an hourly rate, but they will often pay an agreed number of extra hours for preparation - if you can negotiate better than one hour prep payment for each hour in the classroom you're doing well.
  • Some institutions are immovably insistent on paying teachers only PAYE; others will negotiate.
  • These rates do not include paid time off.
  • Freelances who are registered for VAT will add it to every invoice.

We welcome feedback from members on these notes.

More advice and links...
* University and College Union (merged AUT/NATFHE)
* Employment status & when you should be able to be paid gross
* Uploaded 14/08/2222: if you have a printout, check the current version at
* Rates for the Job good, bad and ugly
* Join the NUJ to get individual advice & representation

Text © Mike Holderness & previous contributors; Moral rights asserted. The collection (database right) © National Union of Journalists. Comments to please. You may find the glossary helpful.

The National Union of Journalists must not, can not and would not wish to dictate rates or terms of engagement to members or to editors. The information presented here is for guidance and as an aid to equitable negotiation only.

Suggestions apply to contracts governed by UK law only. In any event, nothing here should be construed as legal advice.