I've now received ~100 supportive messages/emails from UCU members on Student Number Controls and what happened at UCU HEC.

You've shared with me your harrowing stories. In some of your departments, your student numbers have dropped by 50% or more. Some of you have 1/
your degree programmes, which you built over 20-30 years, wrecked by cap-lifting and facing closure.

Some of you have lost your jobs, along with a third of your department. Some of you can't sleep at night, not knowing if you're going to get "that email" from SMT this week 2/
Some of you are at universities that have grown 30% or even 40% after caps were lifted, and you're now marking 300 exams.

Some of you are casualised staff, brought in to teach students hoovered up by RG universities during Clearing. Some of you are burning out, on sick leave 3/
or on medication. I'm not sure if I can reply to all your messages, or if there's anything I can say to make it better, but I'll try.

I've heard your anger, bafflement, confusion, demoralisation at UCU HEC's failure to support a motion that just *investigates* student number 4/
controls. Yes, I sadly do believe that the HEC members who voted against or abstained are out of touch with the membership, who are sinking: losing their minds from overwork in Pre-92s, losing their livelihoods in Post-92s.

Marketisation is the source of evil, and the lifting 5/
of the caps in 2015 was the weapon wielded by the Conservative government to bludgeon you, your colleagues and friends, and your students.

Members of UCU HEC who dismiss the question of caps should take a good hard look at themselves. Regardless Student Number Controls 6/
are too important an issue to be left by the wayside. UCU HEC must listen to your voices and bring Student Number Controls onto the agenda, to consider the issues surrounding SNCs, and come to a position.

We all want an end to HE marketisation and free education, but first 7/
we must urgently find ways to stop the bleeding.

If you've got this far in this thread, I've some ideas to mobilise and I'll need your help. If you want to be by my side, drop me a DM or email me on leon.ucunec@gmail.com. Thank you for listening and we go again. 8/8

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More from @acupunctureUSS

10 Mar 20
There are many talking points from the #UCUNEC election results and in the next few days there will probably be an avalanche of incredibly good and incredibly bad analysis. For me, there is one absolute star: historian Jo Edge @hagenilda from Manchester 1/ ucu.org.uk/article/10339/…
In a very tough field that includes some UCU "veteran activists" and one of the UCU Left Four Fights negotiator (Marian Mayer, who did not get elected), Edge managed to win the largest number of first preference votes (2,238). That is a phenomenal achievement 2/
This is a candidate who was basically mocked when she thought about standing for UCU NEC. Ruthless gatekeeping and "credentialism" coming from (often male, white, senior, able-bodied) UCU "veteran activists" who had been in permanent academic positions for 20-30 years. 3/
Read 8 tweets
13 Sep 18


1/ This is a story about a supermarket chain that uses artificial intelligence, and how workers are then bullied into buying ice cream by their managers.
2/ A friend of mine is a trade unionist. The trade union has over 400,000 members, many of whom work in the biggest supermarket chains in the UK--including minimum-wage labourers who work through the night to ensure supermarket shelves don't go empty. He shares this story.
3/ At a supermarket chain, a CEO bought an "artificial intelligence and machine learning" stocking system. The old system was that night-shift workers, who put items on shelves, were responsible for checking levels of stock and making orders. The new system would automate this.
Read 18 tweets
24 Apr 18
#USSstrike #football STICKER THREAD ⚽

The Panini World Cup 2018 sticker album is horrifically expensive. I'm a cheapskate and I'm obsessed with pensions. Therefore I'm making the official #USSstrike sticker album.

#aesthetic #beetroot #aubergine #backofthenet
1/ First up is @MikeOtsuka. USA is not in the World Cup this year. So Mike will have to play for Panama.
2/ Next up is Bill Galvin, who has played for the following clubs: @DWP @TPRgovuk and USS. His position is DC. He is quite defensive about things. He plays for Switzerland because @UBS is just one letter away from USS.
Read 23 tweets
11 Apr 18
🤔 In this long thread below, I look at the Pensions Regulator's (tPR) website, and ridicule it 😂

#USSstrike #aesthetic #beetroot
This is the logo for the Pensions Regulator @TPRgovuk
This is not a standard font. The tail of the "e" is elongated.
It suggests that money was paid to design this specifically for tPR.
According to tPR, the employers provide the teabags.
It does provide an overpriced Starbucks/Costa/Nero's on campus.
Or you can bring your own PG Tips. And your own kettle of course.
Read 36 tweets
19 Mar 18

This is a story about an Edith Wharton scholar who became embroiled in the largest industrial action in the history of higher education in United Kingdom.


#USStrike #NoCapitulation @alicecbennett #HouseofMirth
1/ It is also about a small group of managers who shared a vision of universities built on the freedom of choice and the logic of the market.
2/ But that vision turned into an never-ending nightmare. A nightmare for university staff and for students.

* SOUNDTRACK KICKS IN: John Carpenter - *

#USSStrike #NoCapitulation
Read 145 tweets
17 Mar 18

This thread is about @UniversitiesUK hiring an "external communications firm" to "improve capacity", and guesstimating how much that might cost.

Screengrab: Letter from Churchill College 16 March 2018

#USSStrike #NoCapitulation
1/ RUMOUR MILL: UUK has hired Saatchi & Saatchi (London). I'm not going into detail into Saatchi & Saatchi's history. You can check it out on Wikipedia. Here's an image of what they have at the entrance of London office. "Nothing is impossible": does that include rescuing UUK?
2/ CAVEAT EMPTOR: I'm a historian, not specialised in anything to do with PR. If you're an academic specialised in the history and present of the PR industry, I'd deeply appreciate it if you could verify/falsify my speculations.
Read 14 tweets

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