Some notes on the USS strikes

Since we have come to the end of an unprecedented four weeks of striking across many UK universities, I thought it was worth setting down some thoughts. Although I was nervous about the strikes as they began, I found that the last few weeks have changed completely how I think about my job. The conversations I’ve had on the picket line would suggest that I’m not alone in this. I think most academics are probably not typical strikers or activists – in order to get to our positions we are more likely to have been typical good students, who are used to working within structures which have mostly worked for us. I have also felt grateful and privileged, considering the very difficult employment climate and the many years I spent myself on insecure fixed term contracts, to have a secure, permanent job doing the work I love. Continue reading

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My thoughts on Brexit

 

imagesI woke up in Dublin ths morning to the depressing news that Brexit is actually a reality, having flown here in the evening after casting our votes, for remain, as UK residents. I’m been in shock pretty much all day, never quite believing it would come to this. This evening I had dinner in Dublin in one of my favourite Italian restaurants – entirely staffed by Italian staff living in Dublin – with family who had flown from Germany and Turkey as well as ourselves, from the UK. It’s saddening to think that the world we now live in will be a smaller, narrower one than the one we’ve made in the last few decades. Continue reading