An annotated version of the email sent to all students about the industrial action starting tomorrow has been distributed around University spaces this morning (Wednesday 21st February)
The paper, entitled "Tugging on the Chancellor's robes" has been distributed and spread in the Wills Library, Students' Union and Woodland Road. It details the anonymous author's objections to the Vice Chancellor's comment on the USS dispute and imminent stike action.
It starts by claiming: "The timing is a political act! He deliberately gives no time for a debate to develop or alternative viewpoints to be heard. This is an act intended to depoliticise the issue. If he cared about the discussion he would have sent this weeks ago!"
The handouts in the Wills Memorial Library (Epigram / Hannah Worthington)
The author's email address is obscured with the annotation "why do I need to do this? Why do I not feel safe?", no doubt a comment on the potential implications of so outwardly and publically attacking the University, especially the Vice Chancellor himself.
The messages annotated are political in nature. Commenting on the email's line "It is important we understand the very real challenges that the USS pension fund is facing", the author states "said every Tory polician ever when arguing for demolishing social welfare. It's austerity again! (He makes) his position very clear by using his position as VC and the weight associated with the role to position an 'indisputable argument' which undermines the staff and UCU's position. This is a clear example of persuasive use of power!"
The annotations spraul the two-sided handout, including an objection to the links to the Universities UK website: "4 links to the UUK and ZERO to the UCU. Even the information he suggests is BIAS! Unbeleivable".
The handouts have since been removed from the Wills libary by the librarian though copies still remain in the SU and Woodland Road complex.
The handout itself (Epigram / Cameron Scheijde)
The author ends the handout "this is total lip service. The VC has made it completely clear that he is supporting UUK on this issue. He has not stayed neutral yet claims to support negociations. This sentence is genuine b*******.
"Thank you for the contempt for our intelligence, Hugh. The teaching is better than that!"
Strikes are due to start tomorrow for two days, with action culminating in a full week's walkout at the end of March.
Featured image: (Epigram/ Cameron Scheijde)