Over the next few weeks, industrial action will take place at over 60 universities across the UK in a bid to protect our pensions. The average UCU member will see their pension fall by £10,000 a year under the new pension proposals. In addition, this dispute is part of the wider issue of casualisation and the attack on security of employment in higher education.
It is important for all union members who are able to contribute what they can to the strike action. For the duration of the strike, I will take action short of a strike. I will be on strike and on the picket line during the week beginning Monday 5th March. This is a high-impact teaching week to strike during - classes will be cancelled for both my weekly philosophers and fortnightly classicists.
In an ideal world, all union members would strike for the full duration of the period of industrial action. However, the decision to take strike action can be difficult for those who have the most to lose - people at the beginning of their careers, working on casual contracts. Besides the impact on my students, I worry about the impact of four weeks' missed teaching on the completion of my course to gain Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, as all of my teaching in this period falls on strike days. I believe that I am contributing what I can without jeopardising the outcome of this course.
All my support and solidarity goes to my colleagues in the union who are contributing what they can to the upcoming strike. To learn more about the strike, visit the UCU Strike for USS website.