Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #precaritystory

Most recents (8)

Today, for the first time ever, I am on strike. @LancasterUCU You will not see me on the picket line (at least not yet) because frankly, I’m exhausted. @ucu here’s my #precaritystory
I have very mixed feelings about this strike for a number of reasons, but in the end, how else will things change?

I passed my viva in 2015. For a year I had no work.
Then I picked up a 3 hours a week teaching on a university evening course. I held on to this work for 3.5 years. But there was no pay during the holidays, and often they couldn’t tell me if there would be any work at all until 2 or even1 week before term started.
Read 19 tweets
A long #precaritystory incoming for the last day of the #UCUStrikesBack
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"I’ve been teaching in different departments at Durham for 13 years. Twice I've had contracts F/T for 9 months, the next P/T for 9 months, despite a very similar workload."
"Right now I’m on the usual 'you are not an employee, the University does not guarantee work for you, you are not entitled to sick pay' contract. I am teaching across six different modules, including tutorials, lectures and seminars, at undergraduate and postgraduate level."
"I’m supervising dissertation students. I’m covering the teaching of a permanent member of staff; I applied for that exact job a couple of years ago and wasn’t shortlisted. I give lectures and seminars on the same courses as full-time professors."
Read 4 tweets
“I’m one of these preciously-employed postdocs. I’ve always been on short term, 1 year/6 month contracts. My current one ends next year but might be extended further, I won’t find out until about a month before it ends. 1/4 #UCUstrike #UCUStrikesBack #PrecarityStory
“I’ve never taken a holiday, and I’m carrying an entire research programme by myself. I need to work because there’s no one else to do it but me. 2/4 #UCUstrike
“My salary just covers my rent and leaves me with £1 a day leftover to live on. I managed to get some summer teaching and A level tutoring to keep my head above water but I’m always tired, and I’m falling behind my research. 3/4 #UCUstrike
Read 4 tweets
“After completing my PhD, I was employed as a fixed-term lecturer. I was frequently asked (well, told) to do more teaching than I was actually contracted to do, without any additional remuneration. 1/4 #UCUstrike #UCUStrikesBack
“On one occasion, my senior colleague told me that I would be teaching a whole extra module just days before the start of term — a module that they were supposed to teach. 2/4
“I also experienced what I would describe as bullying; sadly, I had no choice but to accept it, because I needed the job and needed my employer to write me good references. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
Revisiting my #precaritystory almost 2 yrs on for #UCUstrike. In 2017-2018, I was a research postdoc on a short-term contract at a Russell Group uni. The whole year was a frenzy of overwork, fear & desperation to shore up my CV & & secure my next job in the sector. [Thread]
Drawing on some old tweets from the time here in my account of this, so the story may sound familiar if you were following me back then.
Part of my job that year was to lead on an exhibition with an external partner. Due to circumstances beyond my control (staff illness/turnover, strike action), the schedule was delayed. I asked the uni to extend my contract by 14 days so I could complete the project & be paid.
Read 15 tweets
#PrecarityStory— I just finished teaching my final seminar on an MA module at a university that didn’t meet the strike ballot threshold. I started work in mid-September, 2 weeks before handing in my PhD; until a few days ago, I hadn’t been paid a single penny, despite many emails
I pay my rent monthly (duh) so this has been very hard. When I was hired, I was told I wouldn’t have to do any marking, & my contract ended when teaching ended. Midway through the course, I was told I would actually have to mark the entire module’s coursework for no extra pay
after six weeks of incredibly stressful emails, all conducted through a “remote desktop” barely fit for purpose, I managed to get them to agree to pay me for the marking, but as a “goodwill gesture”; this obviously still doesn’t actually cover the time the marking will take
Read 7 tweets
“I passed my viva 7 years ago. Since then I have had over ten fixed term contracts of varying lengths and pay. The best (and worst) contracts were ones where I was paid a decent wage for a decent amount of time (3 contracts over 5 years at the same uni). 1/13 #UCUstrike
“The downside of this was that I became invested in my students, colleagues, institution. You have developed friendships, started to establish academic networks, provided modules that students love, started to supervise PhD students, then your contract is no longer renewed. 2/13
“Or you are asked to do it all again with modules you know nothing about and more good collegial ‘citizenship’ work is the expectation. After five years of this I was literally hollowed out and stretched so thin, I had nothing left to give. 3/13 #UCUstrike
Read 13 tweets
#PrecarityStory #snapshotsinPrecarity #UCUStrikesBack Precarity is -- When HR forgets to pay you (which, weirdly, happens a lot), YOU have to apply for ‘an advance’ even though the payment error was their fault. All the burden is on you, not the other way around. 1/n
When HR underpays you, you have to live on not enough money for the next month. Or months, because sometimes it happens again. But the flexibility is great: you can work in 2010, go away, live your life, come back in 2018 with another degree and more experience
2/n
and get paid *exactly* the same amount for your hourly work. Which means getting paid less in real wages, of course, and that's not even counting the work you do for free. 3/n
Read 6 tweets

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