This is a podcast at the intersection of: first, what it means to be a professor; and second, what it means to be on strike. I am one of two professors on our UCU committee, and I do casework for members. Being on strike involves supporting more precarious colleagues, staff who are struggling over inequalities or casualised employment, staff whose pay has been devalued over a decade, staff who are struggling with excessive and intensive workloads. It involves trying to tie these struggles in to student campaigns, the work of our professional services’ staff in creating a meaningful learning environment, our work on decolonisation and gender equality. Beyond this, it involves linking to struggles in society for the common good.
However, it feels important for professors to show leadership in our #fourfights and #ucustrikesback campaigns. It feels important for them to challenge their own privilege, status, resources, and to place these at the service of those with less. So, I invited some questions and comments about professors on strike and professors not on strike, and I seek to address them here. There is also something of a preamble from me, which as usual goes on and on and on.
Anyway, in solidarity, and keep warm and safe on the picket line.