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What do people think of the Lecturers' industrial action?

Do you think Lecturers industrial action is justified?  

79 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think Lecturers industrial action is justified?

    • Yes
      39
    • No
      40


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Lecturing staff (as well as research and academic-related staff) at Uni of Shef are entitled to:

 

Annual Leave: 30 days, plus 3 closure days, plus 8 Bank Holidays.

 

Not quite 3-4 months off per year is it?

 

Where I work we get 35 plus 5 closure days. It is an awful lot, but as I said earlier I won't be taking more than 15 days this year. The rest won't be paid or carried over. We are desperately understaffed and each of us is doing the work of 2 people as we've had several staff leave and their posts 'frozen' because the university cannot afford to take someone on to replace them. We're being forced to teach in areas outside of our expertise. It is impossible for anyone to take 35 days holiday, not only because the work simply wouldn't get done, but you cannot take it in term time and there is a limit to how many staff can take leave at the same time, so it's first come first served.

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There've been some excellent points on here about the workload of lecturing staff and how it is widely misunderstood. I'm a post-grad but teach at both uni's and have spent alot of time talking to full-time academic staff over the last couple of years.

 

Academics are professionally judged based on their research and publications, which is the main priority of departments in the age of the RAE. Yet academics desperately try (as they are expected to) to squeeze this around extensive teaching loads, preparation, marking, pastoral care, undergrad/postgrad/postdoc supervision, obsessive reading schedules to keep up with latest developments in their field, excessive bureaucracy and essentially administrative roles dished out amongst the teaching staff of each department.

 

Every academic I know works well into the night almost every night, spends their summer in the uni (3-4 months off? No!!!!!) and much of their 'holidays' either in libraries/labs or on research/field trips, as it's often the only time they can get away or devote time to their own research.

 

When you consider that academics have spent 7 years + qualifying for their jobs (existing on paltry grants and loans), not to mention any postdoc positions (commonly paid at 10k less than average new-graduate pay) it puts the whole thing into perspective.

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Excellent points here from Twiglet, the RedWizard, Lib1 and several other posters, all of whom are very aware of the realities of a lecturer's working life, which are so very different from the ludicrous fantasies so flippantly propogated on here by certain ignorant posters.

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Thanks for everyone's input on this. Good debate and guage of opinion. If Lecturers expected unwavering support for their actions, this has proved otherwise. But it has also shown that their actions do have support from more folk than I expected.

 

A bit unfortunate that it descended into:

certain ignorant posters.

but this tends to happen in debates when someone can not abide people having an opinion different to theirs. Thanks to the rest of you who managed to respond informatively and constructively without resorting to name-calling.

 

The poll closes on the 6th May so any of you who want to bolster the graph one way or the other, get your friends to log-on, read the opinions and register their vote.

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Excellent points here from Twiglet, the RedWizard, Lib1 and several other posters, all of whom are very aware of the realities of a lecturer's working life, which are so very different from the ludicrous fantasies so flippantly propogated on here by certain ignorant posters.

 

Your post flows like a fine wine me lord... glad I'm not the only one who supports the action despite it's repercussions for me and my peers....

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but this tends to happen in debates when someone can not abide people having an opinion different to theirs. Thanks to the rest of you who managed to respond informatively and constructively without resorting to name-calling.

 

 

It wasn't someone having a different opinion, it was someone who truly has no experience or first hand knowledge of the job and making grossly wrong assumptions about the hours worked or the work actually done.

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Glad to hear that brother Chaverly supports the lecturers in the exercise of their democratic right to withhold their labour from the bastions of capitalist oppression that the universities have sadly become. Who knows what enormities would already have been perpetrated had the lecturers not been unionised?

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but this tends to happen in debates when someone can not abide people having an opinion different to theirs.

 

It's not a difference of opinion that's being questioned, it is ignorance on the part of someone who just assumes that lecturers and teachers just sit around during the six week holidays.

 

It's exactly the same when people see a police car speeding and say "oh, he must be late for his tea break". There was a poster on here a few weeks ago accusing the police of starting work and then going to Morrisons at Catcliffe and eating breakfasts on work's time, when the reality of it was the police canteen had closed down.

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It wasn't someone having a different opinion, it was someone who truly has no experience or first hand knowledge of the job and making grossly wrong assumptions about the hours worked or the work actually done.

 

It was people having different opinions. Sometimes incorrect and uninformed opinions but opinions nevertheless. I was just disappointed that people throw in the word "ignorant" at the first hurdle in an attempt to belittle other folk rather than trying to educate them. It doesn't paint a positive picture of the people trying to argue the lecturers' corner when they just respond by telling those less well-versed in the subject than them that they are ignorant. Your posts amongst others have sought to rectify some misconceptions about the life of a lecturer with meaningful input and I'm grateful for your participation.

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The cost for this is far too high. We're talking about students' education here, and striking at exam-marking time to maximise impact is just pure spite. This has nothing to do with the students, so they shouldn't be punished for it.

 

I'm now a university postdoctoral researcher who'll probably be a lecturer one day. During my undergraduate degree this exact same thing happened, where my tutor delayed marking our exam papers because he was taking industrial action. I can still remember clearly how frustrated this made me feel, and it's not right that so many students should suffer in the same way.

 

The cynical choice by the union of such an important time for this action makes them look very bad IMO.

 

:(

As I understand it, most lecturers will mark work at the usual time - but the marks will not be released to the matriculation authorities. Students should be able to get marks from their tutors.

 

I'm glad to see that NUS is supporting the lecturers - and so are the more enlightened university unions.

 

Without motivated academics, universities will become nothing more than conference centres (many already are little else) or extended FE colleges offering little of depth or rigor, instead churning out thousands of 'vocationally qualified clones', and original thought, once Britain's greatest export, will be a dead duck here.

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As I understand it, most lecturers will mark work at the usual time - but the marks will not be released to the matriculation authorities. Students should be able to get marks from their tutors.

 

I'm glad to see that NUS is supporting the lecturers - and so are the more enlightened university unions.

 

Without motivated academics, universities will become nothing more than conference centres (many already are little else) or extended FE colleges offering little of depth or rigor, instead churning out thousands of 'vocationally qualified clones', and original thought, once Britain's greatest export, will be a dead duck here.

 

I can confirm that, at my university anyway, we are marking the work but witholding these results. We don't want to end up with several hundred assessments to mark and the dispute be resolved a couple of days before the award board sits, meaning it has to be marked then. Some tutors may give out marks but I think in most cases not. To give students transcripts requires the marks to be put in to the system, and it's a bit impractical to collate and e-mail marks out to hundreds of them. It's also not fair of us to only give marks to a few of them if they come and ask, when the rest don't or can't.

 

There are currently no signs of the situation resolving at our institution, and several lecturers think there is a distinct possiblity of some subjects having their graduation delayed, which I didn't think would actually happen.

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