Support and Scepticism for Lecturers’s Strike
Exeter students and staff respond to yesterday’s strike from University lecturers
• LLB Law student says contact hours should be re-scheduled.
• Spanish and French student defends lecturers’s right to strike.
• Professor of Hispanic Studies continues to work as usual.
Along with scores of others from across the UK, University of Exeter lecturers went on strike yesterday (3rd December) in protest against declining rates of pay, the second time they have done so this term.
With it being a contentious subject among both students and University staff, The Tab went onto campus to canvass general opinion about the strike. Scroll down to read what students and lecturers had to say:
In favour: Sam North, Senior English Lecturer
“I believe in the union, and I believe in the union’s responsibility for bargaining on behalf of staff.
“So, it is a negotiation and part of the negotiation is when negotiations fail, and we have very minimal power nowadays.
“I’ve actually been catching up on a load of work. It’s just that I haven’t done my lecture or done my seminar.
“And of course you resent any sort of interference with your own students, but I do believe in the union and collective bargaining, and when you look at industries that don’t have union representation they are trampled over.”
Against: Jack Gilbert, LLB Law
“If my tuition fee relates to seminars and lectures led by lecturers throughout the year amongst other things, then surely in these strikes the university is not fulfilling the full extent of these services.
“In addition to this, to receive emails from members of the university such as lecturers stating that they will be withdrawing their labour and declaring no intention to reschedule their seminars or lectures is defeating.
“While they may wish to withdraw their labour upon that day, the university should ensure that the contact hours with students scheduled for the day of the strike should always be rescheduled.
“If we take any other career as an example, if I do not go to work one day, but then turn up the next, has the work that was scheduled to be done on the day before been completed or just disappeared?”
In favour: Alexa Withers, Spanish and French
“If lecturers think they are being underpaid, I defend their right to fight for it – although it is frustrating that it interferes with our contact hours.
“I defend their right to protest and go on strike. If it was the other way round and we students were on strike, I would like to think that the University lecturers would support us.”
Against: Prof. Derek Flitter, Hispanic Studies
“I’m working as normal and there are reasons for that which will probably appear very trenchant and sanctimonious.
“The first of them is that I’m not a member of a trade union and I never have been, and the main reason for that is that I would never refuse to teach students.
“I would never go on strike [but] it’s hard to say that without sounding morally superior and sanctimonious, which I don’t want to do.
“Obviously, I’ll respect the decision of people who have gone on strike.”
Great seeing the wave of strikes across the country, & solidarity here at Exeter. I’ve been stuck in the marking bubble, good to see wider.
— Matt Hayler (@cryurchin) December 3, 2013