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Academic Problems by Héctor Mangas #UCUStrike @hectormangas #PornstarMartini 🍸 | by dullhunk
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Academic Problems by Héctor Mangas #UCUStrike @hectormangas #PornstarMartini 🍸

QUOTE (from the back of this flyer)


We hope the cartoon made you smile, but it's not really a laughing matter is it? Across the Higher Education sector, casualisation/precarity and excessive workloads have combined to create a toxic cocktail.


Counting the costs of casualisation in higher education (published by UCU in June 2019) reported:



🎓 Around 70% of researchers in HE are on fixed-term contracts

🎓 37,000 teaching staff are on fixed-term contracts, mostly hourly paid

🎓 71,000 colleagues are employed as 'atypical academics' mostly hourly paid


Casualised and precarious contracts cause stress. How will you pay the bills when your contract expires?


For those on more permanent contracts, stress comes from demands of an excessive workload. 37.5 hours is supposed to be the length of the working week - we probably made you laugh again - but most academics work much longer hours than that. Evening and weekend working has become the norm rather than the exception.


Workload is an education issue (published by UCU in 2016) reported:


🎓 The average working week for academic staff is 50.9 hours

🎓 The average working week for academic-related PS staff is 42.4 hours


Or put it another way, the average Professional Services (PS) colleague does on day of unpaid work per week, while the average academic does two days of unpaid work per week. This survey of over 8,000 academics and PS staff was conducted in 2016 - the situation certainly hasn't improved since then; in fact, it's probably got worse!


Vicious cycle:

Casualised contracts = fewer permanent staff = excessive workload


Virtuous cycle:

Fewer casualised contracts = more permanent staff = manageable workload


This strike is about ending the vicious cycle.


If you're wondering about the Pornstar Martini reference: in 2018 a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary revealed that VCs and Senior Managers had claimed almost £8 million in expenses over the previous two years (including a claim for a Pornstar Martini) NB: This was not a senior manager at the University of Manchester (UoM), as the UoM did not respond to the Freedom of Information request sent by the programme, see The Guardian article below.


Some claimed for Easter eggs, scented candles, fresh flowers and even a “pornstar Martini”. Few, though, can beat the £1,600 spent on relocating a pet dog from Australia to Britain.








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Taken on December 7, 2019