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Joining UCU

(12 Posts)
tinselvestsparklepants Sat 23-May-20 09:21:02

I work at a university but have avoided joining the union because of their well known stance against some female academics. However given that the next few years look like they are going to be a car crash in terms of workloads, conditions and working hours I think maybe I should join. But I'm so torn. Can anyone offer any advice?

Strangerthantruth Sat 23-May-20 09:59:03

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/academics_corner/3825588-My-heart-is-not-in-this-latest-university-strike

Useful thread from February.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Sat 23-May-20 10:01:52

I'm in UCU.
The branch where I am is fairly sensible which I realise is rare.
There are other unions though.
My feeling is it's better to change from the inside and that union membership is important to me.
But that feeling does dwindle when friends are treated so badly by UCU leadership in other institutions.

It isnt just the gender identity stuff. It's the weird ucu left/socialist worker nonsense.

GCAcademic Sun 24-May-20 08:02:23

I left UCU and joined GMB. Even the upcoming hell that we are going to endure thanks to the pandemic won’t induce me to return to UCU.

tinselvestsparklepants Wed 27-May-20 18:17:49

Thanks for the responses and sorry for silence on my part - marking! Looks like Gmb have also failed to consider both sides of this argument. Is there ANY union to join?

OwenJonesCleaner Thu 28-May-20 12:13:20

I left UCU because I was so tired of Jo Grady having everyone on Terfblocker. I suppose I shall have to rejoin - they are the only HE union with any clout in my workplace but I bitterly resent giving people who seem to have drifted away from any sense of solidarity my money.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Thu 28-May-20 14:15:50

Just start some kind of postgrad module and you get about 8 billion years free or somesuch.

GCAcademic Thu 28-May-20 16:49:52

That’s true, you could identify as a PhD student and have free membership thrown at you (this was the start of UCU’s decline, IMO, it stopped representing academics and professional service staff once it started handing out free membership to thousands of woke students).

tinselvestsparklepants Fri 29-May-20 21:09:22

Ha that's interesting - I am also a PhD student as well as full time staff member! Because I have so much spare time at the moment ....

CaraDune Fri 29-May-20 21:41:27

Plus of union membership - legal representation if you need support in dismissal proceedings/disciplinaries. Problem - in actual fact they may prove to be as usual as a chocolate teapot. (I was in the UCU's predecessor, the AUT - it suffered from a systemic problem in that it was often used as a career stepping stone for those wanting to get managerial experience between a head of department job and a pro-vice-chancellor job - so often the head of the union on campus was actually on the side of management).

That's aside from their problems with being the wokiest of the woke. I'm not sure I'd trust them to back an academic in a disciplinary hearing over freedom of speech versus accusations of transphobia, for instance.

Daca Sat 30-May-20 08:41:51

There are many problems with UCU as per various threads on it on this board. But every single union seems to be problematic, sometimes even corrupt. (Unite probably having to shell out £2 million because one of their publications libelled a female Labour MP; GMB and their recent abandonment of Mumsnet members because of nasty evil women such as myself daring to have a discussion on this board; not sure what Unison is like ...)

This is the situation:
- there will be cuts in Higher Ed
- unions will try to push against this but on a collective, not individual level
- union membership might pay for legal representation in an employment dispute but given UCU and GMB’s track record, if that dispute involves certain political views, they will probably be useless

I honestly don’t know if union membership will protect any academic in the current situation.

OwenJonesCleaner Sat 30-May-20 09:21:43

The UCU were useless when my line manager tried to illegally alter my contract to force me out of my job. And at my current institution the senior staff are all in the union but crossed picket lines because they felt sorry for the students losing so much teaching time. And I have zero faith that they would stand up for my sex based rights.

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