In your article ‘My college students by no means knew’: the lecturer who lived in a tent (30 October) a number of staff in increased schooling share their tales of maximum precarity, together with a younger girl who had so little cash she needed to reside in a tent whereas doing her PhD.

As a substitute of expressing empathy and a dedication to handle the brutal actuality of insecure work, the Universities and Schools Employers’ Affiliation (UCEA) responded by downplaying the quantity of casualisation on this sector, and attacking the College and School Union (UCU) with the declare that we’ve “repeatedly reject[ed] alternatives to work with employers on this essential space”. This disappointing response reveals the dismissive angle that the employers’ representatives convey to collective bargaining.

For the reason that UCU was created, we have campaigned and reported on the shameful stain of precarity in increased schooling: presently, 68% of research-only teachers are on fixed-term contracts, as are 44% of teaching-only employees, and that’s simply the tip of the iceberg.

We have now at all times striven to work with employers on this space, by way of collective bargaining. Once they really feel prepared to affix us to debate critical proposals, they may have our full consideration. And if strike motion is what it takes to get them to achieve this, then we’ll rise up for our members, and all increased schooling staff.
Vicky Blake UCU President, Robyn Orfitelli UCU HE negotiator

Within the early Nineties, on returning to this nation, my husband was an unemployed tutorial for six years, having had tenure each within the UK and New Zealand. For 2 years he taught supervisions for numerous Cambridge schools from a cellular house in Waterbeach. I bear in mind his embarrassment when an undergrad turned up at our door with an overdue essay. A lot for the picture of bookish gentility in a snug faculty room. He was knowledgeable of those instructing alternatives by the husband of a number one Conservative thinktanker.
Teresa Rodrigues
Crediton, Devon

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