Samar shares his message for UoB Vice Chancellor Hugh Brady in relation to the UCU strike, and urges students to email senior management with their thoughts about the strike.
In Hugh Brady’s speech to the UCU rally today (skip to 7 minutes to listen to just how much these strikes have changed his tune!), he made it clear that he read and sympathised with every e-mail that he is sent. He complained that he had to ask his son how to turn off his notifications because his phone was waking him up at night! Ultimately, if we want to express our frustration at how long these strikes have gone on and the impact they are having on our studies, we need to tell the person that has let it get this far.
Below is my message for Hugh Brady. Students, I suggest that you send him something similar. Filling his inbox will increase pressure on the negotiations to produce the correct outcomes for our educators, hopefully ending the strikes in the next few days.
Dear Professor Hugh Brady,
I am writing to express my extreme displeasure at the way that Bristol University has handled the negotiations with the UCU and the sheer lack of respect and support that they offer members of staff. Through your unwillingness to enter negotiations and protect staff pensions, you have jeopardised the outcome of my degree, as well as the sense of community I have found at Bristol University.
In the past, I have been keen to recommend Bristol University to others. This has largely been due to the inspiration, care and attention of my lecturers, tutors, and department. I reject your explanation for why the complexity of the pensions scheme means you must strip my lecturers of the secure future which they so obviously deserve. It is clear that the decisions the UUK has been making will deter an entire generation of students from entering academia. This is not something any of us want. Due to your handling of this strike, I am highly unlikely to recommend this university to others and I will reflect this when filling in any student satisfaction survey.
I believe, and I'm sure you will agree, that lower grades in general will reflect badly on Bristol University. Aside from the issue of the Universities’ reputation, there is the question of lost education. Students come to university to learn, and require lectures and seminars to do so effectively. When these lectures and seminars do not happen, students’ education is negatively affected.
As the Vice-Chancellor and the employer of my lecturers, you and your team are held accountable for their contracts. As they are unable to work as a result of contract changes, it is the responsibility of the employer to rectify the situation and thereby restore my education to the standard I expect from such a highly regarded university.
I urge you to scrap your plans to destabilise the future of my educators and education system.
For anyone that is interested in discussing matters related to race, the Staff-Student Solidarity Group has organised a teach-out featuring Lowkey and an open, student led discussion group on Wednesday. Like the page to find out about more events.
Featured Image: Epigram / Samar