Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Message of Support from Sally Hunt

Dear colleague

Support the strike on 29 September

I know that you are busy at this time with the beginning of the new teaching term, but I wanted to ask you to take a few minutes to read this email.

I am writing to ask you to support the strike being called by UCU at your college on 29 September. This strike forms part of our campaign to help win you the money your college owes you.

As you know, your college is one of a minority who have refused to pay you money you should have had four years ago. For four long years, you have been paid less than your colleagues at the great majority of other colleges in the country.

UCU believes that this is grossly unfair and unacceptable.

Why should you put long hours into teaching or supporting students year after year, only for your management to tell you that you aren’t worth as much as your colleagues?

I know that you are professionals and that doing anything that affects your students goes against the ethos that sustains you at work. Everyone in UCU shares that ethos. It’s what makes us professionals providing a public service.

However, we also need to be able to say that we are worth a professional wage and that our employer should respect us as professionals. There is a lot of talk about the importance of education and training at the moment, not least from our colleges. Yet at the same time, too many of them are attacking staff, attacking terms and conditions and, in your case, persisting in trying to get their teaching on the cheap.

That’s why UCU has, with the agreement of your branch officers, targeted your college.

We have achieved a lot in the course of this campaign. 21 colleges have been selected for targeting. Only 9 colleges, of which yours is one, still remain as targets. Recruitment has grown in those branches in the campaign.

A strong strike on 29 September will send a clear message that we are not going away. That’s why I am asking you to join your colleagues in observing the strike and helping them on the picket lines on the 29th. Let’s end the rip off at your college. Support the strike.

All the best

Sally Hunt
UCU general secretary

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