Laurie Taylor Column

November 14, 2003

I see that the AUT is calling for a strike.

Excellent news. About time we showed a bit of industrial muscle. We've let the bastards trample over us for far too long.

It's going to call out all its 47,000 members.

That's what we need. Oh yes. A great display of solidarity. One for all and all for one. Let's show them that university teachers are no longer a pushover. Unite and fight. When do we start?

Well, it's not exactly about university teachers. Apparently, the AUT is calling us all out over the issue of academic-related staff.

People who are married to academics?

No, no. People who are professionally related to academics. Fellow members of the AUT - librarians and university administrators and computing staff.

Good God. I didn't know that such people were even in the AUT.

They are now about a quarter of the total membership. And, according to the AUT, the new pay agreement will mean that one in six of them could be downgraded to lower job grades.

Lower than a university administrator? Lower than a librarian? Are you sure you've got that right?

Absolutely.

What can one say?

Solidarity forever?

That might be putting it a little too strongly.

  • Laurie Taylor will be signing copies of the University of Poppleton Calendar 2004 at Hatchards, 187 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LE, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday November 26. Readers who bring along a copy of The THES will receive a 15 per cent discount on all books in the store. Alternatively, you can order the calendar at www.thes.co.uk/bookshop price £10.00.

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