Casualisation is a symptom of a sector-wide crisis

(submitted to Guardian 17 November)

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The disgrace of casualisation, whilst Vice Chancellors and Principals award themselves salaries multiple times that of the Prime Minster, was graphically and accurately portrayed (University Staff Contracts ‘like Sports Direct’, Guardian 17th November).

Moral outrage will be insufficient, however, to challenge this common, sector-wide approach to abusive contracts in higher and further education. We are not dealing with a rogue employer such as Mike Ashley at Sports Direct, or Sir Philip Green at BHS. We are dealing with employers across both the higher and further education sectors, who are driven by the goals of rising turnover and continued expansion, all to be paid for by rising tuition fees and continued reductions in staffing costs.

It is not an irony lost on the hundreds of thousands of staff in our universities and colleges that, while they are required to be flexible, not a single Vice Chancellor or Principal in the country is on a casualised contract themselves!

It is deeply disappointing that, in the week that the scale of casualisation is revealed in our universities, the UCU has called off its industrial action. That campaign concerned not only pay but precisely an end to these abusive contracts.

The NUS/UCU demonstration for education taking place on Saturday 19th November should be the start of a renewed campaign. This has to be about the defence of Higher Education against the Government’s Bill for its deregulation, as well as against all forms of casualisation and gender discrimination, and about the appalling decline in real incomes, especially for junior staff, in our universities and colleges.

We need our trade unions in the education sector to wake up and to lead such a campaign, and not to cower away from the Government’s onslaught, or to encourage complacency or despair.

What is at risk now is not just the standard of living of staff in both FE and HE. There is a threat to academic freedom in the pursuit of knowledge in our universities, and indeed to the very idea of a university. There is a threat both to the health of staff from dangerous workloads, and to any sense of equal access to high-quality post-school education.

Those of us in a position to resist this dystopia have an obligation to act now.

Jo McNeill (President, University of Liverpool UCU and UCU NEC)
Carlo Morelli (University of Dundee UCU, UCU NEC)
Tom Hickey (University of Brighton and CDBU)
Prof John Holmwood (University of Nottingham and CPU)
Gurminder K Bhambra (University of Warwick and CPU)
Sean Wallis (University College London UCU Vice President, UCU NEC)
Sherrill Stroschein (University College London and CDBU)
Mark Campbell (London Region UCU, Higher Education Chair)
Prof Des Freedman (University of Goldsmiths UCU)
Rachel Cohen (City, University of London UCU, UCU NEC)
Lee Jones (Queen Mary University of London and CPU)
Saladin Meckled-Garcia (University College London UCU President)
Liz Morrish (independent scholar)
Feyzi Ismail (SOAS, University of London, Senior Teaching Fellow)
Christina Paine (London Metropolitan University, UCU Branch Secretary and hourly paid lecturer)
Lucia Pradella (King’s College London, Lecturer)
Xanthe Whittaker (University of Leeds, UCU NEC)
Phoebe Moore (Middlesex University, Senior Lecturer and UCU H&S Rep)
Calum Carson (University of Leeds, Postdoctoral Researcher)
Stefan Schwarzkopf (Copenhagen Business School, Associate Professor)
Craig Lewis (Lecturer, UCU NEC member for Adult Ed, retd.)
Scott Taylor (Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Reader in Leadership & Organization Studies)
Alistair Brisbourne (Royal Holloway, Visiting Lecturer)
Joel Lazarus (University of Warwick; Ruskin College, Precarious Academic)
Lisa Tilley (University of Warwick, Research Associate)
Yuliya Yurchenko (University of Greenwich, Lecturer)
Bruce Robinson (Retired lecturer / independent scholar)
Steve Rolf (University of Bristol, PhD Candidate)
Prof Philip G. Cerny (University of Manchester, Politics, retd)
Pauline McGovern (University of Greenwich, Research Fellow, UCU Equality Officer)
Elizabeth Cobbett (University of East Anglia, Lecturer)
Pierre Bocquillon (University of East Anglia, Lecturer in Politics)
Roger Baines (University of East Anglia, Senior Lecturer)
Joanna Drugan (University of East Anglia, Senior Lecturer)
Andy Denis (City, University of London, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy)
Martin Donohue (West Thames UCU)
Asa Cusack (University College London, Research Associate)
Peter Waterman (Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Senior Lecturer, retd.)
Jeff Powell (University of Greenwich, Senior Lecturer)
Helen Warner (University of East Anglia, Lecturer)
Neil Lancastle (De Montfort University, Senior Lecturer)
Andrea Brock (University of Sussex, Doctoral Researcher)
Vijay Jackson (University of Edinburgh, BAME Officer, Edinburgh Labour Students)
Mark Curtis (University of East Anglia, Associate Tutor)
Adriana Sinclair (University of East Anglia, Lecturer)
Jude Fransman (Open University, Research Fellow)
Pam Clarke (University of Liverpool, University of Liverpool UCU)
Dave Stewart (University of Liverpool, UCU H&S rep)
Peta Bulmer (University of Liverpool UCU)
Jessie Cooper (University of Liverpool, Lecturer in the Sociology of Public Health)
Will McGowan (University of Liverpool UCU)
Sharon Sweeney (Dundee University, UCU Branch President)
Ken Willis (Liverpool University, Teacher)
Tunc Aybak (Middlesex University, Senior Lecturer)
Sheila Cullen (University of Brighton, Chair Moulsecoomb UCU)
Juan Arana Cobos (University of Liverpool, Lecturer)
Maria Martinez Serrano (University of Liverpool, PhD candidate)
Neil Davidson (University of Glasgow, Lecturer/UCU Committee Member)
Toby Hall (University of Liverpool, Lecturer)
Aidan O’Sullivan (Birmingham City University, Criminology Lecturer)
Eurig Scandrett (Queen Margaret University, Branch rep / UCU Scotland Committee)
Emily Hart (Lancaster University, Law School Rep)
Kevin Bean (Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool)
Dave Mercer (University of Liverpool, Lecturer)
Prof Couze Venn (Goldsmiths, retd.)
Richard Lane (University of Sussex, Associate Tutor/UCU member)
Karen Evans (University of Liverpool, UCU Branch Committee)
John Evemy (University of Birmimgham, Teaching Associate)
Ros Rice (University of Liverpool)
Marco Paoli (University of Liverpool)
Prof Robert Moore (University of Liverpool, Sociology, retd.)
Sarah Mosedale (Lancaster University, Researcher / UCU member)
Irina Biktasheva (University of Liverpool UCU)
Daniel Hartley (Queen Mary, Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Elena Boschi (Edge Hill University, Lecturer in Film and Television Studies)
Elio Di Muccio (University of Birmingham, UCU West Midlands Anti-casualisation Officer)
Elaine White (Bradford College, Part-time Hourly Paid Lecturer, UCU NEC)
Rich Moth (Liverpool Hope University, Senior Lecturer)
Bruno Dalponte (University of Birmingham, Doctoral Researcher / Teaching Associate)
Pippa Maslin (Royal Holloway, University of London, UCU member)
L Whitworth (University of Brighton, Senior Research Fellow)
Rebecca Searle (University of Brighton)
Ken Searle (Solihull College, Lecturer)
Monica Mottin (London Metropolitan University, Lecturer)
Melany Cruz (University of Birmingham, PhD student/GTA)
Mattias Hjort (University of Birmingham, Part-time Teaching Fellow)
Alex Lancaster (University of Liverpool UCU)
Martin Fry (University College London, UCU committee)
Jonathan Gilhooly (University of Brighton, Lecturer)
Robin Dunford (University of Brighton, Senior Lecturer)
Catherine Fletcher (Swansea University, Associate Professor)
Rhiannon Lockley (Halesowen College FE lecturer, West Midlands chair UCU)
George Whitehead (University of Liverpool, Research Associate)
Nathalie Mitev (King’s College London)
Delia Lomax (SRMB)
Nadia Edmond (University of Brighton, Principal Lecturer, UCU Falmer Branch chair)
Prof Patrick Ainley (University of Greenwich)
Jonathan Vickery (University of Warwick, Associate Professor)
Richie Nimmo (University of Manchester)
Luke Martell (University of Sussex)
Matthew Spencer (University of Liverpool, Lecturer)
Robin Leslie (independent scholar)
Prof Keith Reader (University of London Institute in Paris, retd.)
Jo Ingold (University of Leeds, Lecturer)
Simon Reddy (City College Plymouth)
Justin Cruickshank (University of Birmingham, Senior Lecturer)
Prof Malcolm Povey (University of Leeds, Professor of Food Physics, UCU committee)
Cathy Bergin (University of Brighton, Senior Lecturer, UCU)
Prof Tracey Hill (Bath Spa University. UCU Branch Chair)
Simon Cross (Nottingham Trent University, Senior Lecturer)
Prof David Owen (University of Southampton)
Adam Phillips (University of Brighton, PhD Student)
Prof Diane Reay (Cambridge University, Professor of Education)
Suhail Malik (Goldsmiths, Reader)
Rosalba Biasini (University of Liverpool, Lecturer/UCU member)
Prof John Holford (University of Nottingham, Robert Peers Professor of Adult Education)
Michael Loughlin (Manchester Metropolitan University, UCU convenor)
Laura Povoledo (University of the West of England, Senior Lecturer, UCU member)
Anna Ilona Rajala (University of Brighton)
Prof Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University)
Prof Susanne Soederberg (Queen’s University Canada, QUFA (Queens University Faculty Association))
Glory Rigueros Saavedra (University of Brighton, Visiting Research Fellow)
Judith Suissa (UCL Institute of Education)
Gabriel Newfield (University of Hertfordshire, Fellow (and retired Pro-Director))
James Eastwood (Queen Mary, University of London, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations)
Prof William Outhwaite (Newcastle University, (retd.))
Tim Coxon (University of Brighton, Principal Lecturer)
Pura Ariza (Manchester Metropolitan University, UCU NW Regional Committee)
Kerry Harman (Birkbeck, University of London, Senior Lecturer)
Yaiza Maria Hernandez Velazquez (University of the Arts, London)
Michael Pace-Sigge (UEF, formerly University of Liverpool, Senior Lecturer)
Catherine Duxbury (Colchester Institute, Lecturer Health and Education)
Mariya Ivancheva (University College Dublin, Post-doctoral research fellow)
Alexander Pollard (Brighton University, Senior Lecturer)
Magda Buchczyk (University of Bristol, Senior Research Associate)
Moyra Mahoney (The City of Liverpool College, Lecturer, UCU)
Mike Hall (University of Brighton (retd.))
David Crowther (De Montfort University)
Polina Manolova (University of Birmingham, PhD student)
Stefanie Khoury (University of Liverpool, Research associate)
Roman Vasseur (Kingston University, Senior Lecturer, Fine Art.)
Ben Harker (University of Manchester, Lecturer in Twentieth-century British Literature)
Tom Bunyard (University of Brighton, Senior Lecturer)
Debbi Stanistreet (University of Liverpool, Senior Lecturer)
Arianna Tassinari (University of Warwick, Doctoral researcher)
Eugene Michail (University of Brighton, Senior Lecturer)
Prof Vera Vratuša (University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, (retd.))
Prof Philip Moriarty (University of Nottingham, Professor of Physics)
Prof Bruce Stafford (University of Nottingham, Prof of Public Policy)
Alan Roe (University of Leeds, Teaching Fellow)
Elinor Milby (University of Liverpool, Research Associate, UCU member)
Barbara Samaluk (University of Greenwich, Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Iwona Wilkowska (Westminster University, Senior Lecturer)
Ann Singleton (University of Bristol, Senior Research Fellow)
Giovanni Orlando (University of Turin, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow)
Prof Barry Smart (University of Portsmouth and CDBU, UCU, Professor of Sociology)
Marek Mikus (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Research Fellow)
Zahid Naz (Lewisham and Southwark College, Teacher trainer)
Gary Morrisroe (University of Salford)
Robert-John Evans (Lewisham Southwark College)
Ricardo Corte (Lewisham Southwark College, Lecturer, UCU member)
Julius-Cezar Macarie (CEU, PhD candidate)
Bertrand Glineur (University of Brighton)
Sue Abbott (Newcastle University, UCU NEC, Chair women members standing committee)
Ana Tomicic (Universita la Sapienza, PhD Fellow)
Kim Pedersen (University of Brighton, HPL Lecturer)
Annette Duncan (Lewisham Southwark College, Head of ESOL Young)
Tony Sullivan (London College of Fashion – The University of The Arts London, Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Historical Studies, UCU Branch Secretary)
Maggie ONeill (University of York)
Andrew McCulloch (Lincoln University, Visiting Fellow)
Alison Jobe (Durham university)
David McCallam (University of Sheffield, UCU member)
Hazel Marsh (University of East Anglia)
Tony Brown (University College London, UCU Branch Secretary)
Geoff Abbott (Newcastle University, UCU Northern Regional HE Sector Chair, Branch Equality Officer)
Stacy Gillis (Newcastle University)
Barbara Eberth (Newcastle University)
Vicki Morris (University of Nottingham, Unison branch chair)
Margot Hill (Croydon College, Lecturer)
Alex Hobden (University of Brighton & University of Chichester)
Michael Mair (University of Liverpool, Senior Lecturer)
Megan Archer (University of Brighton, PhD Student, Hourly Paid Lecturer)
Sara Maioli (Newcastle University)

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About Sean

Principal Research Fellow, Survey of English Usage, University College London
This entry was posted in HE BIll, responses and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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