Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #UCUStrike

Most recents (24)

My employer sending out email on a strike day inviting people to a discussion of a new 'People Strategy' *on another strike day* says it all, really, about 'People Strategy'. Talk to the Union--they've got some ideas on 'People Strategy' #ucuRISING #UCUstrike
The bigger the Pay & Pensions Deficit, the louder the People PR talk.
The more you offer a 'Strategy' for 'People', the less of a sh*t you give about them. Spare us HR blather.
Read 4 tweets
From yesterday's @ObserverUK. @UnisNotBorders was cited in this piece about, Sulav Khadka, a migrant student from Nepal who was detained by UK border cops, claiming that he was a bogus student, sent to a detention centre in Scotland, & held for 10 days:…
.@UnisNotBorders stated in the piece that in the 6 years we have provided support for migrant university staff & students, we have come across cases, esp from migrant students who come from the Global South & subjected to harsh immigration questioning by UK border cops.
The piece goes on further to state from another student interrogated by UK border cops that they saw some Pakistani students who "were kept in a separate place for not being able to show [their] bank balance in a mobile app. God knows what happened to them."
Read 16 tweets
Why focus *only* on Nigerians? Would Nick be outraged if 50,000 white Canadians brought their dependents to the UK?

Right-wing pundit, Nick Timothy, is using the 'bogus student' line to promote disastrous Tory policies that will harm working class migrant students.

Brief 🧵
Bringing dependants as a migrant student is both not easy & very expensive. One has to pay visa fees which amount to £1,538 if the dependent is applying outside of the UK. Additionally, dependents have to pay the international health surcharge fee to access the NHS.
In total, if you are family of four, one migrant PGR student, three dependents applying from out of the UK, you are looking at spending £4,977 in visa fees and an additional £10,940 for the international health surcharge fee. And these fees are increasing each year.
Read 11 tweets
From today's @thetimes, where migrant students might be barred from @RussellGroup institutions in order to bring down net migrant statistics.

Typical dog & whistle discourse used to marginalise migrant students. We've seen this many times before.

Short 🧵#UCURising #UCUstrike
Mid-2000s the discourse of the 'bogus migrant student' took hold of the UK right-wing media, making outrageous claims that *all* migrant students were illegally entering the UK on student visas. @UKLabour responded by instituting the first forays that started #HostileEnvironment. Image
When @GordonBrown was PM, he started the points based immigration system (PBIS) that ushered in immigration checks in universities on migrant student *and* staff. In 2009, SOAS Management used these checks to break apart the migrant-led @SOASJ4C campaign, deporting 9 activists.
Read 12 tweets
Why boundaries are important, and why in academia it's hard to have them: A thread. #UCUstrike

It starts with the PhD.
PhDs are training in co-dependency, and a masterclass in hooking your self-worth so closely to your career that you become entirely defined by it.
It doesn't happen all at once - it happens bit by bit. Do a bit of writing for free here, take on one 'knowledge exchange' project because it looks good in the long run on your CV, and then another. Everyone does it. Your line manager does it, and their line manager.
Soon all you begin to talk about is work, and all you begin to think about, even at 2am (especially at 2am) are the publications you're not writing. You juggle 12 different roles (some in your contract, some not), from therapist to teacher to administrator.
Read 15 tweets
Used my energy for the day visiting the nearest @ucu @aberdeen_ucu picket line with Dr Blinky in support of their ongoing #Strikes 👊🏻💪🏻

Sadly #royalmailstrikes had packed up by the time i was on my way back so i couldn't say hello👋🏻

#Solidarity #StrongerTogether #JoinAUnion 3 people, one man and 2 wom...
Got too excited seeing people, this 1 hour at a picket has been the most socialising and energetic thing ive done in 20 months. Already feeling the effects, but so nice to see folk and show solidarity to the first #union i ever joined (even though im no longer a member)
The work unions do benefit all of us. Employers want your labour, workers want to have a life outside of work.

If you like your holiday pay, sick pay, parental leave, maximum work hours, minimum wage, pensions, safety at work etc, then you support unions.
Read 5 tweets
Small note on the #UCUstrike. I'm not doing university teaching anymore, after 18 years. Why? Hourly pay has gone down from £40 per teaching hr in 2014 to £16 per contact hr in 2022. Contracts have gone down from 9 months to 10 weeks. 1 contact hour = 4-8 hrs work. #ucuRISING
The last undergraduate teaching I did, in 2021, was paid £1300 the semester for 2 courses, including writing 1 from scratch, all the reading prep, reading & commenting on student work every week, marking at the end (out of contract time, typically). It took up 2 days a week.#UCU
It was sucking up so much time & energy for so little pay, I was losing money. I can't afford to teach now. Hourly paid teaching when I 1st did it in 2004 seemed fair, at £38/hr. In 2012 at £38-40/hr it felt increasingly exploitative. In 2022 at £16/hr it is impossible. #UCU
Read 4 tweets
The UUK 'strategic guide' on staff-student sexual misconduct is published today, during #UCU strike action which we are participating in.

We sat on the advisory group for developing this guidance. Here is our public statement. TL;DR we are disappointed.…
This guidance from Universities UK has been a long time coming. While there is some helpful and important material in the forthcoming practical guide, overall this guidance represents a missed opportunity.
It prioritises retaining the status quo over asking universities to make real change, and it is contradictory, by recommending clear professional boundaries while still allowing sexual relationships between staff and students.
Read 12 tweets
🪧 #UCUstrike Thread 🪧

Wondering why staff across 68 universities are on strike?

@ucu #OneOfUsAllOfUs #FourFights #DigitalPicketLine #DigitalPicket

/1 Flyer describing the UCU (University and College Union) FourFlyer describing the UCU (University and College Union) Four
Read @ucu's Four Fights FAQ…

1. Fair Pay (including fair pensions):

Staff pay has dropped by over 17% in real-terms since 2009…

Read 24 tweets
1/9 I hope this thread will bring a sliver of joy to those on strike. It's a thread about solidarity and music, and strikes. One of the most profound experiences of my career and life was the #UCUStrike of 2018. It was my second year as Image
2/9 a lecturer at Uni of Exeter, and my first time on strike. As well as making great friends on the picket line, a few of us formed an impromptu band called 'Comrade Snowflake'. What was wonderful was the solidarity. There was myself, lucky enough to be on a permanent contract, Image
3/9 @drrhianelinor - at the time a PhD student on a casualized contract, Gabriel, a PhD student, and @GromskiOliver, an undergraduate student and one of the most talented musicians I've ever met. None of us had known each other before, but striking brought us together #ucustrike
Read 9 tweets
🧵Thought I’d curate all of my weary sighing replies to those who don’t approve of the @UCU strikes here in one handy place. #OneOfUsAllOfUs #UCUstrike ⬇️
“Lazy! Academics hardly do any work anyway”
a) Not only do we regularly pull 40+ hours a week, our work has increased in the pandemic as we “pivoted” (god, that word) to blended teaching.
b) if we hardly do any work, how come you think this strike is disruptive to students? 🧐
“They have all those long holidays”
No, at my institution our holiday allowance is 27 days plus bank holidays and college closures. This isn’t school. We aren’t shut outside term time. And we don’t just teach.
Read 14 tweets
Many of followers are not UK academics, so here's a quick 🧵 on why higher education staff across the UK are on strike this week (and beyond). There are two big issues at play here: (1) pensions, and (2) the four fights. #UCUstrike #OneOfUsAllOfUs /1
Pensions: there have been some major proposed cuts to our pensions. These are largely based on a valuation of the pension fund carried out in March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, when markets were volatile. #UCUstrike #OneOfUsAllOfUs /2
In brief, claims that the pension fund is in a terrible deficit have been shown to be false. The pension managers have been either incompetent or untruthful about this and related issues. #UCUstrike #OneOfUsAllOfUs /3
Read 11 tweets

As @UnisNotBorders approaches another yr of organising during the Covid pandemic, we want to share highlights of what we've done in 2021 & what we hope to accomplish approaching our 6th yr of advocating for migrant university staff & students against #HostileEnvironment.
January 20201

@UnisNotBorders kept the pressure by amplifying in @FT the how UK universities were putting migrant student into destitution & how #NRPF, #HostileEnvironment & marketised higher education are all harming migrant students during pandemic:…
February 2021

@UnisNotBorders commences the #EmmaHardlyWorking campaign targeting @UKLabour Shadow Education Minister (from January 2020-March 2021) who failed to respond to our letter around migrant student destitution, & forced withdrawals. More here:…
Read 17 tweets
Lots of my colleagues are on strike this week because of proposed massive cuts to our pensions - see the graph attached to see how absurd the maths being used to justify the cuts is.
I know I’m absurdly privileged to do what I do for a living, but the proposed cuts hurt the lower paid staff at universities more, will damage our ability to recruit excellent researchers in the UK and are fundamentally unfair.
We’re not on strike in Oxford but I support those that are; hopefully somehow the employers can be made to see sense #UCUstrike
Read 3 tweets
Here's our Manifesto to address some of the fundamental problems in UK HE. 🧵

USS gets told in no uncertain terms to sort their shit out, accept a prudent prediction that isn't based on imminent apocalypse, and to pay livable pensions.
#OneOfUsAllOfUs #UCUstrike

All HEIs to commit to attaining Athena Swan Gold AND the Race Equality Charter as a first step towards deep cultural change. Also to develop and implement an equivalent scheme for disability.
#OneOfUsAllOfUs #UCUstrike
3. PAY

All staff to get a 5% pay raise, with a further £2K* for all women and an additional £2K* for all people in racial/ethnic minorities. If that pushes them beyond their current pay bracket, promote them.
(*Or pro Rata Equivalent)
#OneOfUsAllOfUs #UCUstrike
Read 9 tweets
Solidarity to @ucu workers on strike today until Friday ✊

Staff have been pushed to breaking point by attacks on pay, conditions and casualisation.

Read this thread for an overview of how you can support the #UCUstrike and find more resources at ImageImageImageImage
Solidarity is essential to winning the strike, your support is incredibly important! Here’s some of the things you can do:
1. Join the picket line
2. Convince others to support the strike
3. Build community solidarity
4. Pressure your University ImageImageImageImage
This strike is about who our universities work for and the future of higher education. Winning it can turn the tide against marketisation, fees and debt, and strengthen fight for free, democratised, decolonised education. ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
UUK say ppl want precarious contracts in HE. Really? After my phd I spent 7 yrs on fixed term research contracts. “Luckily” projects arose that I was qualified for so I had 6 renewals, 6 redundancy experiences. How do you mentally & financially manage this situation? #UCUstrike
1. Save save save. The individual absorbs the social risk of redundancy. Uni pay the bare minimum redundancy (after 2 yrs) . Save as much as possible, live in cheap housing, rely on partner’s wage. (Obvs inequalities issues galore, esp as #firstgen & #workingclassacademic)
2. You can try to write & win new grants yourself at weekends & find a permanent academic colleague to front them. Depending where you are there’s no guarantee you’d get the fixed-term job if your grant succeeds. Uni also cap the salary grade regardless of responsibility
Read 10 tweets
With the #UCUstrike coming to an end, I'll be back to tweeting about work and science this week. What I won't be doing is offering any scientific opinions on the #COVIDー19 crisis - because I'm totally unqualified to do so. 1/n
Also, I think we need to try and act to prevent twitter and other social media channels from being swamped entirely by pandemic-related content. We need to be able to think about other things too, for the sake of our mental health. 2/n
So, I'm going to try to get back to posting lay summaries of my papers. I've got a bit of a backlog... what do you want to hear about first? I'll tweet about the paper chosen in the poll tomorrow! /End
Read 4 tweets
🎵On the 13th day of striking, my union gave to me
13 hardship fund donations...🎵

@UCU #UCUstrike #UCUstrikesback
🎵On the 12th day of striking, my union gave to me
12 sunny picket lines... 🎵

@UCU #UCUstrike #UCUstrikesback
Read 15 tweets
Settle in, kids. I'm going to talk about professional services in HE.

When the media report on the #UCUStrike they're often framing it as a 'lecturers strike', and ignoring those of us in PS, research, non-teaching roles, and more.

They do it to divide us. They can do one. 1/
Over half the staff in HE are professional services. We are the IT staff that keep your systems running. We are the administrators that make sure students are on the right courses, we are wellbeing services who look after mental health, we are librarians, we are careers... 2/
We are estates, who keep the power and the plumbing on, security who provide 24/7 cover including first aid to keep students and staff safe.

We are the university. All of us. Academics, professional services, cleaning staff, catering staff, students, specialists, technicians 3/
Read 17 tweets
A short thread on academic workloads & the #UCUstrike.

It’s not just that academics are now expected to teach exponentially growing numbers of students, publish extensively, win large research grants, engage with policy makers, blog, go on TV and the radio, write op-eds...
...mentor colleagues, chair committees, peer review papers/books/research proposals, give talks, manage budgets, manage people & projects...and so on, often with little training.

It’s that the processes that underpin these have become increasingly complex for unclear reasons.
Coming back to teaching after 6 years, I can feel like the proverbial frog thrown into the pan of boiling water. So many changes, so much additional work, and I can’t says it’s always for the better.

An example...
Read 11 tweets
Mini 'explainer' thread #UCUstrikes: how will @UCU decide re offers?

Understandably members have a lot of Qs about this!

Key point: We're negotiating intensely hard over proposals. Significant progress is being driven by the strength of our (historic!) industrial action! /1
[Interlude to note once again it's a disgrace that it takes industrial action - esp on this scale - to be heard on issues of basic decency...
And how ✊truly epic, determined + creative ✊ @UCU members are...
#UCUStrikes work!]
NB Proposals are not formal offers, though proposal documents may *become* offers.

UCU negotiators have made proposals we believe could resolve both disputes. Employers could resolve both #UCUStrikes with decent offers

🚨NOTE it'll be *members* who *decide* on any offer(s)
Read 12 tweets
Strike day 9 and still going strong at the picket line ✊✊☀️☀️ #UCUstrikesback #UCUstrike Image
The rally at Hes Hall was particularly musical today. Great lead singing by @israblack, but I feel like the rest of us (esp me) should practice at home before the next rally 🤭🎤👩‍🎤🎶 #UCUstrikesback
Oh dear, it was filmed 🤭🤭 💪💪
Read 3 tweets
Incurred an embarrassingly-middle-class tennis injury yesterday which means standing/walking for hours is not an option today and so I will miss out, again, on standing on the picket line with my colleagues this morning as part of #UCUstrike #UCUstrikesback
It might seem strange to be sad about missing out on standing in the cold for four hours, but picket lines are energising and empowering places. First of all we are together, and being together and caring about each other is, fundamentally, what this action is about.
I know I have a I fantastic job & v generous terms and conditions, but I know that my working life is partly built on and partly produces precarity for others esp. 'buy ins' to cover my buyouts. The least I can do is show up & support the claim that it doesn't have to be this way
Read 7 tweets

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