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Anyone else currently striking with UCU but reconsidering their position?

(30 Posts)
MuffinMittens Mon 02-Mar-20 11:37:19

I'm an academic on strike. But seriously considering leaving UCU and going back to work, on the basis of the response to no-platforming of Selina Todd (and, to be frank, so serious general fuckwittery of UCU in relation to identity politics).

Anyone else in a similar position?

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MuffinMittens Mon 02-Mar-20 11:37:39

*some serious general fuckwittery

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boatyardblues Mon 02-Mar-20 11:42:46

The UCU leader’s response to Selina’s deplatforming at the weekend beggars belief. I can see why, as a member, you would be furious and questioning your ongoing support.

MuffinMittens Mon 02-Mar-20 11:50:29

Thanks for the response, @boatyardblues

Never thought I'd be considering breaking the strike till this...

I've just seen that Kathleen Stock has left UCU for this reason

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littlbrowndog Mon 02-Mar-20 11:57:48

If you are paying your subs and they won’t support you as a woman just tell them to do one

Kathleen has left I saw on twitter

Miriel Mon 02-Mar-20 12:01:04

I'm a doctoral student and left the UCU last year for similar reasons. Ordinarily I'd be against strike-breaking, but if you were an academic in my department I'd have so much admiration for you for making a stand like this.

I know that it's difficult and there's the potential for backlash, though, depending on the climate at your university.

GCAcademic Mon 02-Mar-20 12:03:10

There's quite a few of us on here who have already left on the basis of UCU's / Grady's attacks on feminist academics. There are others, admirably, who are staying to try to effect change from within. I can't do it, though. I won't pay them £26 a month knowing that if I needed support if there was a complaint against me for believing biological sex is real and politically important, they would throw me under the bus and call me a bigot.

There's some more discussion about the strikes / Grady / academic freedom here:

nonsenceagain Mon 02-Mar-20 13:25:00

I'm not striking in solidarity with Selina. Will stay out until Jo Grady leaves and/or UCU gets its act together.

Daca Mon 02-Mar-20 13:45:58

Please do join us on the academic common room thread. A union for academics that supports no-platforming is not fit for purpose. And this massive distraction also undermines the ongoing strike that UCU members have given up their wages for. Over 25 strike days since 2018. Jo Grady could have just staid out of this but no ... it would be understandable if you could no longer support this.

jadefinch Mon 02-Mar-20 14:04:29

This is Jo Grady's extraordinary response to one of her members being no-platformed (because a woman talking about women's history at a women's conference was considered offensive)

stumbledin Mon 02-Mar-20 14:08:11

boatyardblues - Hi, is there a link to the statement somewhere on line? thanks.

Irrespective differences in feminist politics, the issue of no platforming is getting worse.

And so much of this intolerance seems to be coming out of universities.

Is it the attitudes of the young people coming as students, or is it a growing culture amongst academics.

The ripple effect out into society (and party politics) is very, very worrying.


boatyardblues Mon 02-Mar-20 14:25:12

Jadefinch has already posted the relevant retweet. Jo Grady retweeted the statement by the young speaker who got Selina deplatformed (noting it was the spinelessness organising committee that wielded the fatal blow).

knit1purl1 Mon 02-Mar-20 14:34:38

I have refused to go to class on strike days up to now but am considering returning tomorrow based on these principles. Feel like having my own leaflet ready for any picket line stating why re Selina Todd & Grady etc.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 02-Mar-20 18:11:31

As I understand it, if you are GC and get into some sort of bother because of this (student complaints etc) the UCU would not support you.

Kind of makes being a member a bit pointless...

stumbledin Mon 02-Mar-20 19:24:48

Unfortunately posted graphic images of tweets isn't very helpful as not everyone has the same graphics package and / or has a visual impairment which means reading text captured as a photo is not accessible.

All I wanted was the live url.

Added to which of course (not saying its the case here but relevant in other instances) images can by faked.

morningtoncrescent62 Mon 02-Mar-20 19:36:06

stumbeldin this is the link:

AgileLass Tue 03-Mar-20 09:07:36

Yes, I’m hanging in there at the moment, hoping UCU can get its act together.

This gave me some hope yesterday - there are clearly many in HEC who do feel committed to academic freedom

It should be noted that Selina Todd stated yesterday that she had left UCU some time back. Don’t blame her, and it doesn’t make Jo Grady’s behaviour any less abhorrent. She’s way, way out of her depth on this.

NiceLegsShameAboutTheFace Tue 03-Mar-20 09:18:08


Thank you for your post. I'm with you. I'm a UCU member on strike and am planning to stay and try and change things from within. I may be misguided but I believe that that's the way forward. We need someone to stay but ….. I do completely understand why some of you have left the UCU blush

I like your posts. They sum up how I'm feeling but I can be a bit 'snippy' when writing. You say it so well smile

AgileLass Tue 03-Mar-20 09:23:13

Thank you NiceLegs that’s very kind of you to say smile

I’ve actually found quite a bit of quiet support from male academics within my dept (I’m “out” as GC to a couple), and I know they voted accordingly in the recent elections. So there’s more than you might think who are uncomfortable with the current direction of travel.

stumbledin Tue 03-Mar-20 13:57:22

Thanks for the link - will share with some women discussing this on facebook. (Y)

MuffinMittens Tue 03-Mar-20 17:06:48

Feel some relief that I'm not alone in this... thanks, all, for posting. I'm still in UCU at present, and on strike. Still deciding whether to watch and wait or jump ship.
I'll join you on the other thread, too...

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GodwinsRulebook Tue 03-Mar-20 18:14:51

I went public on Twitter about having severe doubts whether I could stay in UCU in all good conscience, when our Gen Sec responds to Ms Olufemi and Shon Faye (of the "women, enjoy your erasure") was a flame/fire emoji. Disgraceful.

But I've had a lot of support from friends - but they've please with me - other other good feminists - to stay in UCU to fight the current idiocy. My issue is that OI am already overstretched, and cannot add becoming active in my local branch to my To Do list - or rather my Run-Over-the-deadline-spend-my life-apologising-to-people List.

I've been strike-breaking with no guilty conscience because I voted against the strikes, did not vote for Dr Grady, and think the whole leadership domination by the UCU Left is like a load of teenagers pretending to be Che Guevera.

GodwinsRulebook Tue 03-Mar-20 18:28:11

As I understand it, if you are GC and get into some sort of bother because of this (student complaints etc) the UCU would not support you

I was supported - but that was 2 years ago - not sure if my local UCU branch has now been "captured." But it's the memory of the really excellent support I had from my local UCU case worker that keeps me in the UCU.

AgileLass Tue 03-Mar-20 18:55:30

I’m despairing this evening, after the response to the Suzanne Moore article I’ve seen from so many Twitter academics. Just despairing sad

CumannNamBan Tue 03-Mar-20 19:31:30

Please don't break the strike over it, it won't help the cause and will alienate people.

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