UCU, Unite and Unison Higher Education strike 31st October 2013

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by ringo, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Here we go again, 4th year in a row we've been offered a 1% pay rise.

    I expect my university to ignore it as they're too busy with their 'professional services review'. So far IT and several other sections are coming to the end of phase 1 which has seen a large percentage of the department made redundant or handed a two grade (£12,000 - £15,000) pay cut. The rest of us have been told we will be outsourced within two years and that "any Tom, Dick or Harry" could do our jobs. Phase two starts soon, which will encompass the library and other services within the university.

    Meanwhile the uni has continued its cash grab - sold off halls of residence and other assets, giving it £30M cash in the bank and is pushing out academics who don't bring in research grants in an attempt to get higher in the ranking system and attract more high fee paying foreign students.

    No training, no promotions, never seen morale so low. Never seen so many people finally realise they have no alternative and nothing to lose by striking.

    From UCU email:

    With four years of pay cuts hitting the living standards of everyone in our sector and the university employers sitting on an amassed surplus of more than £1.1 billion, it's not surprising that members in higher education are angry. The position of higher education staff has also made the mainstream press, with Sunday's Observer carrying an article from Will Hutton describing our four year pay cut as the 'most sustained cut in wages suffered by any profession since the Second World War'.
     
  2. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    I'm on a temporary contract at a uni. Unsure what I should be doing? I guess I have to strike as I'm not going to scab but a bit worried I'll ruin my chances of being taken on permanently :(
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  3. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Not sure whether to volunteer for picket duty ..:hmm:

    Some talk of a Halloween theme ...
     
  4. PursuedByBears

    PursuedByBears Go stick your head in a pig

    Just had a pointless argument with my colleagues who aren't in the union and don't think anyone should be on strike "when there are people who don't have jobs". It's the same each time we go on strike, two-thirds of staff are too apathetic or actively hostile. Failed to get them interested in today's news about the huge deficit in the USS pension scheme either. :rolleyes:
     
  5. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    it's not further education is it? I rang UCU because i got paranoid again, and they said it's not. But none of the unions are going on strike in FE that day are they?
     
    stethoscope likes this.
  6. PursuedByBears

    PursuedByBears Go stick your head in a pig

    frogwoman likes this.
  7. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    Keep seeing a similar argument regarding the Grangemouth situation 'They should accept the terms and be grateful they have a job'. wtf :facepalm:
     
  8. Lo Siento.

    Lo Siento. Second As Farce

    I'll be striking from my rather minor TA duties, although worried the lecturer won't
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  9. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    well its nothing to do with you if he doesn't, its on his conscience not yours so don't worry.

    that sounded wrong. It is something to do with you because crossing the picket line is the act of a cunt but you don't have to feel guilty on his behalf (which is the sort of thing I'd do)
     
  10. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    To further complicate matters I've been sent on a 3 day IT course that culminates on the day of the strike :facepalm:
     
  11. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    I seek counsel o people of urban. What is normal protocol for temporary workers when it comes to strikes?

    They've sent me on this course and I'm worried they're going to take it as a slap in the face if I choose to strike rather than go to the course :S
     
  12. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    A number of colleagues aren't in the union, which is disappointing but there you go. What's surprised how many of those in the union who have been saying they're not sure whether they'll strike or not, and trying to find out how many others are on strike. One guy, who's a mate, joined the union on Monday but isn't striking :confused: :facepalm: He's just had a kid and says that "changes things", but then why join a union?! Because he wants the cover should he need it... :(
     
    muscovyduck likes this.
  13. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Can't decide whether it's scabbing to set up an automatic email reply for tomorrow.
     
    frogwoman and Spanky Longhorn like this.
  14. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    For once this strike have some impact in my department. My team leader and colleague are on holiday so its just me this week looking after large sections of the university infrastructure. I'm also on call, so tomorrow if anything goes awry during the early hours, business hours or evening, they will have nobody to fix their web site, file servers, load balancers etc etc. My line manager knows, but as he's the union secretary he isn't going to spell this out to the directors.
     
    muscovyduck and Spanky Longhorn like this.
  15. PursuedByBears

    PursuedByBears Go stick your head in a pig

    I'm doing an out-of-office reply that links to UCU's info on the strike :)
     
  16. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Our head of department & minions have gone over board this year emailing us demanding to know in advance if we're going on strike or not. The union have then been sending out counter emails informing everyone that they are not under obligation to do so.
     
  17. flypanam

    flypanam Local oaf

    Striking tomorrow too, but am worried that as with all one day strikes nothing gets done. Hoping that UCU and Unison would have the balls to go further like taking heed of the Quebec students and their strike. Its not as if the University sector is not rolling in cash https://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/newsarchive/2012/news69554.html
     
  18. Lo Siento.

    Lo Siento. Second As Farce

    well my department is atrociously scabby :( Ended up trying to persuade various uncomprehending colleagues that maybe we shouldn't just stand for continuous cuts in living standards when the uni is running a massive surplus. Our picket line was manned solely by TAs and people from other departments. Still, it seemed to be going off pretty well elsewhere in Bloomsbury, big pickets at Birkbeck and SOAS which seemed pretty strike bound. Maybe UCL might have gone better if it didn't have 60 fucking entrances and a million departments :(

    Anyway work from Tomorrow is to organise all the TAs and junior academics for the next time, in the hope it'll pressure the senior ones to buck their ideas up.
     
  19. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    I asked my head of faculty if the loss of %pay means the corresponding removal of that% work off my work allocation
    awaiting reply...
     
    muscovyduck and equationgirl like this.
  20. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

  21. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    you'll ruin your chances of forging a decent relationship with your colleagues if you scab
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  22. heinous seamus

    heinous seamus til clay-cauld death shall blind my ee

    I doubt that, most of them are just treating it as a normal day as far as I can tell.
     
  23. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    if by normal day you mean sitting in front of the internet chatting shit, then yes, for me it is a normal day. not getting paid for it today though.
     
  24. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    I have used my strike time wisely - I have been to lidl to get some ice spikes and thermal socks and hot chocolate on a stick :)hmm:)
    this is an exciting day for me
    I even had egg and chips and a slice on the way:)
     
    equationgirl likes this.
  25. Miss-Shelf

    Miss-Shelf I've looked at life from both sides now

    how do you have time mr pickmans for sitting in front of the internet in your daily work:hmm:
    overworked minds want to know
     
  26. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    by being efficient.
     
    frogwoman likes this.
  27. ddraig

    ddraig dros ben llestri

  28. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Lemonade socialist

    Well, have heard of at least three scabs today, one a good mate, one my line manager :facepalm: :(

    Apparently one of them said if she had seen a picket line she wouldn't have come in, but she didn't see one so in she came. She also asked to be off the service desk, but frankly if you break a strike you don't get to hide in your office!

    Genuinely disappointed.
     
  29. PursuedByBears

    PursuedByBears Go stick your head in a pig

    Came back to the office today to a general air of disapproval that I'd been on strike yesterday, some people seemed to find it funny and slightly embarrassing that I'd supported the action. I suspect that they won't turn down any pay rise that results from the dispute though...
     
  30. ddraig

    ddraig dros ben llestri

    :( depressing
    ask em how they think they got their rights in the first place
     

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