Jo Grady Profile picture
Apr 12, 2018 34 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
"The great strike 2018" session at #AAG2018 IS OPEN! When I can I'll tweet here. Follow the hashtag #NotAllGeographers
speaking about what happened on social media during #USSstrikes via 3 slices. Slice one: EARLY
Early phase involved repugnance with neoliberal VC's & development of #notallgeographers hashtag. Complex psychosocial movement positioning certain VCs as neoliberal beast.
Slice two: Middle #notallgeographers

Collective citizen research that was putting together 'WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON'. Including @gailfdavies investigating role of consultancies & @etymologic investigating Oxbridge role in #USSstrike
Slice three: Now #notallgeographers

Emergence of @USSbriefs in aftermath of #USSballot over Easter weekend bank holiday in service of the strike to provide public information.
discussing the importance of #USSstrike teach outs, building communities, & colleagues (particularly women) working together for reproduction. Asking the question 'what kind of social relations do we want to produce'? #notallgeographers
The strike was about much more than pensions, and was about critically interrogating neoliberalism. We need to develop solidarities with those who share our commonly in other countries, those who howl at the same beast. #notallgeographers
Strike has given us the chance of another possible us in the academy, & we need to stop being perfect neoliberal subjects #notallgeographers
Now we have Ian Shaw! #notallgeographers

Sit tight, just uploading slides! 🤓
Ian: 7 reflections on the #USSstrike #notallgeographers
1) Reflecting on long held power of withholding your labour as important!
2) The importance of the picket line (and the front line!) of our strike. A transformative space
3) We found each other and forged new assemblies.
4) The strike expanded beyond a pensions dispute.
5) Social media solidarity was vital for sending messages of support, solidarity, co-ordinating student occupations, & also educating each other about pensions.

6)Importance of education beyond the syllabus
7)Importance of connecting to people beyond the universities. The picket moved far beyond the picket, and moved into the life of the world
8)Student staff solidarity, life blood of strikes & enabled us to keep going
9) Legacy: social spaces to keep our fragile assembly together.

*I swear I thought there was only 7 (this talk just gets better!)
Ian's 9 reflections now followed by a statement from Glasgow students, which is a wonderful way to finish. #notallgeographers
"The fight against the neoliberal agenda that is eroding our universities start's now"

Jessica Jacobs: talking about the transformative space of the picket line, which allowed us to realise how isolated we are. The strike broke that down, & allowed us to see that we are separated by management on purpose. To make us as productive as possible #notallgeographers
Jacobs: We also saw academics applying their own critical theories - in particular feminist theories - being applied to their own universities #notallgeographers
Jacobs: We cannot go back to work 'business as usual', & instead need to give consideration as to how we continue our transformative pickets as part of our 'post strike landscape' #notallgeographers
now speaking about the importance of pensions to ECR's, who have the most to lose. Reference to #USSBriefs8 where it is noted employers consider 'DB as a drag on employer resources that is unfair to intergenerational fairness' #notallgeographers
This positions young employees as opposed to pension saving as they consider it unaffordable due to their debt. Hardly a good reason to cut pensions, & does not address debt! #notallgeographers
Sustaining & expanding movement is important that must include extending solidarity to others and working with them, especially precarious migrant groups. #notallgeographers
Really annoying errant apostrophe! ARGH.
Perspective from France is one of tiny jealousy, and also one of hope & solidarity.
'How can academics fight financialization of HE?' It's crap, & we have to say it's crap! Especially important for those of us who have luxury of permnenant contracts. #notallgeographers
discussion: this needs to be a collective process, not just of self education, but about what we do with documentation that shows how universities have been made. Which display how individuals have shown agency or not. This is a powerful tool that needs using #notallgeographers
Question about the role of UCU... essentially asking 'what went wrong'?
Point made that we know we don't trust UUK, but not sure there is any trust left in UCU anymore. #notallgeographers
Discussion about how the 2 qu's are linked. Part of the development of the neoliberal university is because people were sleepwalking. Part of the development of a union that we might not be happy with is because members were sleep walking. Everyone is awake now #notallgeographers
It is now our collective responsibility to be awake all of the time & engaged. We cannot expect the union to simply solve problems of neoliberal university, we must solve both problems with our union and our universities. #notallgeographers
DISCUSSION: We need to be thinking about what type of university we want to bring into being. Not being reactive, but have a positive vision of the university.

DISCUSSION: how do we manage tricky feelings around how people conducted themselves during the strike, and relationships that may be changed for ever in non positive ways? These have every day implications. #notallgeographers
DISCUSSION: We all need to stop adding to 'busyness' culture. Embrace the end of the working day, & stop engaging in activities that exclude those who can't or won't perform being 'busy'.
Last word from @felicitycallard 'we need to think hard about how do we narrate our discipline'?


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More from @DrJoGrady

Sep 14, 2018
UCU members have already demonstrated significant compromise. The ballot that ended strike action was a massive act of compromise. That compromise produced the JEP, & the JEP has vindicated & endorsed the position of UCU members. It has demonstrated the necessity of #USSstrike
The #USSstrike resulted in many of us losing 14 days pay. It required emotional support from loved ones. In some cases it diminished us in the eyes of some colleagues, and in other cases it resulted in punitive actions or threats from our employers.
If compromises are to be made, it is fair to demand they come from @UniversitiesUK & our employers. The JEP makes clear that with minor tweaks USS is sound. As such we need to understand the #USSstrike as employer initiated industrial action. We were left with no choice.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 13, 2018

Initial thoughts in thread to follow👇 #USS…
As ever, the excellent @JosephineCumbo has provided a succinct summary of what the recommendations are, & I don't see any need to reproduce that.
I'm v happy to see the disruptive role of Test 1 being acknowledged & criticised. I'm also v happy to see suggestion that employers attitude to risk & the affect this had on the covenant be re-evaluated. Likewise it's good to see assertion that updated data & measures be used.
Read 11 tweets
Apr 5, 2018
Unhappy about proposed #USS pension cut?

Not convinced current #UUK offer protects you from significant & long term pension cuts. What if I told you that it's not the only cut your #USS pension has experienced 👇👇👇 #USSstrikes
Cut 1: Employer pension contribution holidays

Between 1983-1997, employers cut their contributions from 18.55% to 14%, resulting in an estimated £7 billion being lost from the value of the fund.
Cut 2: Closure of USS as a final salary (FS) scheme

By closing FS scheme in 2015, & moving members into a lower value DB scheme, it is estimated the value of a #USS pension was cut by 20% on average.
Read 5 tweets
Feb 23, 2018
As an industrial relations expert I've studied a lot of industrial disputes & have a few thoughts about this request from UUK. Join me 👇
We might personally be eager to get back to work & end the strikes. This is understandable. But without any reassurances that we will maintain our DB pension, no strike action should be halted in order to return to the negotiating table.
If we use the junior doctors dispute as a recent example of a strike that many seemed destined to succeed & gained huge public support. But their goal was irreparably damaged & undermined by calling off action early, & without concrete contract improvements on the table.
Read 9 tweets

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