‘Go f*** yourself’: Here’s what students and staff on the picket line want to say to Adam Tickell

“Anything we can do to provide solidarity we must do it without question”


Last week saw the first two days of industrial action come to Sussex University. As both staff and students joined forces on the picket line, we spoke to them to find out exactly what they would like to say to Vice Chancellor, Adam Tickell. 

“I think it’s really unfair that they don’t have the conditions that they deserve”

“I think the Uni staff do a really good job with looking out for us and teaching us, and I think it’s really unfair that they don’t have the conditions that they deserve. They give us so much, and we’re not giving back to them what they deserve”.

“It’s heartbreaking for those of us who actually want to go into careers of education”

“I would say that I think teachers should be respected a bit more for all that they do. They don’t just teach the curriculum, they help people become human beings and that’s invaluable, you can’t put a price on it. And so for teachers who are suffering from the instability of their work and not knowing that their work is actually appreciated in the way that it should be, it’s heartbreaking for those of us who actually want to go into careers of education”.

“Working conditions are learning conditions”

“I would say to Tickell; working conditions are learning conditions. I’ve been in seminars with over 30 people and there’s just not a chance for our tutors to actually get around and actually teach us properly when they’re so thinly spread. The fact that there’s still a racial pay gap and a gender pay gap is actually infuriating. Its not right and you need to fix this”.

 

“If you’re going to be a greedy capitalist, then just come out and say it”

“Adam, I would like to know why you think it’s ok to take such a massive salary and yet continuously cut the pensions to your employees and to cut services to students and the student union. I’d like to know why you think its ok to outsource all the food and cleaning on campus and pay your employees minimum wage to clean your bins, all while there are over 50 people in senior management making over £100,000 a year. If you’re going to be a greedy capitalist then just come out and say it. It is hypocritical and it is lying when you pretend to be an academic who pretends to give a f*** about liberal values and the people, when in actual fact you’re a greedy capitalist pig. So yeah, go f*** yourself”.

“It’s also just a matter of decent human kindness”

“I would say; I’m surprised you don’t realise that students also really care about this issue, obviously the conditions of your staff are going to affect our learning more than strikes ever will. It’s also just a matter of decent human kindness. it is ridiculous that you are one of the highest paid Vice-Chancellors in the country and since getting that position have still managed to give yourself a 30k pay rise”.

“We want an environment where we can actually enjoy what we learn”

“Staff and students should not be treated as consumers of education. We’re here to have a fulfilling learning environment and this is not what we’ve been provided for by management and we demand to have classrooms that are not over capacity and lectures that aren’t treated with disrespect. Pace of life is increasing because of neoliberalism and we want to have an environment where we can actually enjoy what we learn”.

“Anything we can do to provide solidarity we must do it without question”

“I believe that the University lecturers have to take action against inferior contracts, discrimination, their pensions. They need our support, our maximum support, because they have all of the establishment against them. So anything we can do to provide solidarity we must do it without question”.

“Adam, you see us as assets to be cut and money to be collected and we aren’t going to stand for that”

“No one WANTS to be here, it’s pissing with rain, we are cold, we are tired. It was exactly like this last time. Teachers deserve to be paid for their hard work, not just in lectures and seminars. Our education relies on this. Adam, you don’t see us as students and teachers, you see us as assets to be cut, and money to be collected and we aren’t going to stand for that. We’re standing along side our lecturers because we understand that their working conditions are our learning conditions”.