As we enter this pay dispute, it is important to acknowledge that this struggle is about far more than securing a fair pay-increase and extends beyond the limited terms of industrial action. We on the UCU@UEA committee believe it is time that our University invests in all of its staff. We believe it is wrong that members joining our profession are burdened with insecure, part-time contracts that negatively affect their mental health. We believe it is wrong that members who identify as women are statistically less likely to be in senior positions within the University.
It is not possible to strike to oppose such issues, but that does not mean that UCU and our members do not have a role to play in resisting these discriminatory practices. As such, your committee has created an anti-casualisation working group with a broad remit to examine inequality in pay and conditions for staff here at the UEA. We already know that UEA is heavily reliant on hourly paid staff to deliver teaching. We already know that pay inequality at UEA exceeds the sector average. Now we need to come up with strategies to resist these inequalities. We need members to come forward with grievances and work to support one another in fighting back against discrimination and harmful employment practices. In particular, we need you to:
- Inform your department reps of issues within your department (if you don’t know your rep or you are interested in becoming a rep, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Encourage postgraduate and other casualised colleagues to join UCU so they can legally take action against their conditions and receive support from the union
- Consider becoming a caseworker, to support colleagues in distress and challenge unfair practices (please email email@example.com if you are interested and we will arrange the relevant training)
- Share best practice where you find it and encourage colleagues to (Stamp Out Casualisation)
- Lend your expertise to the committee – we are always looking for enthusiastic members who can bring new ideas and talents to our efforts. If you think you can help, then get in touch with us today!