UCU Strike

I’m striking from one of my jobs this week. Here’s why:

  • I have 10 years of lecturing experience. I have published articles in respectable peer reviewed journals. I have a PhD. I have organised conferences. But I have to work in 3 HEIs on temporary contracts.
  • The obsession with lecturer’s producing ‘world leading research’ means the barriers to entering the job market are far too high. Give us job security and we’ll write as many books as you want. University leaders need to nurture talent, not expect it to come knocking at the door
  • The brain struggles to function properly when one has to complete complex but totally unrelated tasks every day. Morning: Marking dissertations. Noon: Skype tutorials. Afternoon: Research and prepare teaching materials.Evening: Teach for 3 hours (this is a typical day for me!)
  • Job applications for part-time, temporary posts are far, far too common. But there is not differentiation between permanent and full time contracts on the job descriptions. If you haven’t published a monograph, forget about it
  • For theatre departments there is the added necessity of needing ‘industry experience’. This has been creeping into employment criteria for a while and is now common. (When was I supposed to make shows? During my masters’? When I spent two years as a teaching assistant because I couldn’t get any other work in theatre? When I was working full time during my PhD? Inbetween teaching, reasearch and admin? Should I STOP lecturing so I can become a BETTER lecturer??? I chose not to be an actor. I want to work in academia. I had to work 30 hours a week and do my PhD on weekends for 3 years. I am devoted to teaching and research. I’m not ashamed of this, but my career path is starting to become a hindrance. )
  • Admin overload. Sorry, I know everyone says this, but the amount of form filling/emailing/event organising/marketing/meeting prep/assessment boards is out of control. I feel guility asking administrators to to do admin roles because there is no limit to what academics are now expected to do.
  • Higher Education will crumble if the marketisation of knowledge continues for another decade. Fighting insecure work is defending the life of the mind