UCU Roehampton is entering into a period of industrial action with the Senior Management at Roehampton. All over the country, 58 Universities are participating in industrial action from 1 December 2021. We are forced to take this action, as employers have refused to address the serious problems of excessive workloads, unfair and low pay, precarious contracts, inequality (race/gender/disability).These are our Four Fights.
UCU Roehampton have met with all of the Roehampton Student Union (RSU) Officers to outline our position on the strike action and to spell out that this is not a Staff vs. Student issue but a joint Staff-Student concern. RSU will be hosting an emergency meeting for its members to vote on whether it publicly endorses the strike action. RSU is inviting both UCU Roehampton and Senior Management to answer a series of written questions outlining their respective stances on the strike action. UCU Roehampton has also offered to take part in a public debate on the issues for the students; the RSU have gone back to Senior Management with this. It seems very clear to us that Senior Management’s strategy is to shift the (emotional) blame of students’ adverse mental health conditions onto UCU/the strike action. We are aware that some colleagues opted not to vote for strike action on the grounds that it will affect student wellbeing and mental health; but we urge caution in the membership as this is precisely the narrative Senior Management are using to undermine the student’s support in us, their lecturers.
UCU Roehampton has also been working closely with a dedicated and committed body of students – many of whom you may remember for their sterling efforts from the campaign to “Save the Arts and Humanities” last year. These students will be developing content and outreach networks to our students so as to ensure that students are hearing about the issues directly from the mouths of other concerned students – and not from the mouthpieces of Senior Management.