It is selfish to strike

With lecturers threatening not to mark exams, Riana Goldman asks whether they’re just being greedy


If you haven’t seen the news already, the word is that lecturers are refusing to mark exam papers until the University of Manchester engages properly in talks about raising their pay and benefits. By not marking exams, lecturers are potentially delaying graduations, which then jeopardises job offers.

All the time in here might have been wasted

Now, before you jump down my throat, it’s not that I don’t believe in industrial action. I really do, and offering a measly 1% pay rise is frankly bloody pathetic. My issue here is the refusing to mark exams and the repercussions. The average lecturer earns almost fifty grand a year, and the average graduate can expect to earn just under twenty grand. That twenty five grand has to cover the crippling student loan payments and living costs.

Students joined the protests today at uni place

 Students joined the protests earlier this year at uni place

By refusing to mark exams, and all the crap that goes with it, are the lecturers doing more harm than good? By alienating the people that they’re meant to be supporting and nurturing through university, they’re losing support for their cause. Students are unwilling to support people that are earning fifty plus grand a year, when they’re eating Pot Noodles cold out of the tub.

9 grand for this? Is there actually any point?

It’s not as if the University isn’t sitting up and taking notice. They’re engaged in talks with the unions, trying to find some sort of resolution to this mess and this action could damage those talks quite significantly. By refusing to negotiate with the Uni properly, lecturers and their ilk come across as petty toddlers, throwing their toys out of the pram because they got an apple rather than a chocolate bar. Yes, tuition fees increased and that probably means that salaries should rise to reflect that.

A sign shows the frustration

Strike3 A sign shows the frustration

However, being that lecturers earn over half of the UK average salary, could they not be being just a tad greedy? The majority of working people would probably cut their right arm off in order to earn that much, and they want more?! Unfortunately, universities are being treated more and more like businesses; even with students being called “consumers”. The ‘consumers’ won’t be very happy if the final product of their three years of hard work is not rewarded.

Stop acting like children, we beg of you.

Stop acting like children, we beg of you.

So here’s my solution. Lecturers: mark the exams, you’re not doing yourself any favours by refusing. University of Manchester: stop being dicks. You need your lecturers. A one percent rise is quite insulting and they deserve more. Talk to each other and negotiate properly. Remember, you’re not toddlers.