Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Solidarity, Baby!

We're striking on Thursday (not me, I'm away, damn it), and the National Union of Students fully supports us:

NUS President Aaron Porter was quoted in the Guardian on Monday saying  "huge cuts to university budgets ideologically imposed by this government pose a massive threat to jobs and education. NUS has worked closely with UCU throughout our campaigns to oppose government cuts and stands in solidarity with their strike action next week." The NUS has also written to the Employers’ Pension Forum urging them to meet UCU to resolve the dispute over USS.

Well, not quite. The President of our SU is a minion of management and takes a rather different view.

As a union we have to promote the idea of using the time to study. We are encouraging students to who are affected to use the time to catch up on work. Remember that there are two main unions at this university, UCU and Unison.  Unison are not striking.
I had a meeting with X [the man he seems to think is his boss] last week to discuss the University's stance on this. He informed us that the university will not be re-running any missed lectures and have no obligation to do so.  All they will do is make the work available for students.  For me, this is unacceptable as it means students are missing out. Lecturers are not providing an alternative for students and it is because of this that we are unable o support.
the groups decision is that that we do support lecturers but we have to put "students' First", A should have made this clear to you.
As I'm sure you will understand, we find ourselves in a difficult situation here, but we are a Students' Union and our first duty is always to you the student.  Students are affected adversely by the strike abut are not to blame for the situation we are in.  Students expect to be taught and receive the education they have paid for. 

He seems to have forgotten that he's elected to take the bigger picture - not act as a complaints desk or shop assistant. Students will miss a day's formal teaching. If the university and government get their way, they'll miss out on staff being able to pick them out from a crowd, staff who aren't working two jobs, and staff who aren't completely demoralised.

Clearly his election didn't include a literacy test either.

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