From 1st-3rd December, academic and academic-related staff will be walking out on strike once again. https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/11872/Universities-to-be-hit-with-three-days-of-strikes-in-December I usually take part but this year I won’t. The only reason I won’t be on the picket line is simply that I am not in an academic role and not eligible to participate. I do however, believe in the importance of striking and will be lending support in a different way.
The issues that have forced academics back onto the picket line are still mine though – my USS pension will still be affected whether I return to academia or not. Casualisation has indeed forced me out of academia. Yet, more than the individual factors, I’ll be supporting the strike for the collective good. The right to strike is a fundamental one. No one takes the decision lightly but strikes do form an essential part of worker rights and arguably make the workplace better in the longer term. Going out on strike in the current political climate takes on an even more existential dimension at the present time when we consider how our civil liberties are being ever more constrained, as Ian Dunt makes plain in his recent article: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/priti-patel-anti-protest-powers-stuffed-policing-bill-1316830?ITO=msn Striking shouldn’t be seen as a subversive act, but perhaps it soon will be.
So how will I be supporting the strike action? I will be doing a digital strike – I’ll be on social media still but won’t be posting about anything academic, commenting on other academic related posts, promoted mine or anyone’s work during the three days of strike action. I will be sharing strike related posts, so as to amplify the messages. I also won’t be replying to any emails during those three days that are academic related. This is the way I can support the strike and I fervently hope others will too. #Solidarity #UCU