Excerpts from a message from Sally Hunt, President of the University and College Union:
“The future of our profession
During the (recent, Presidential) election, I lost count of the senior staff who approached me to express concern about the fate of the next generation. Locked into exploitative employment with little or no job security, the current model used in …… HE has high expectations of young staff but gives little back to them. They need UCU most, yet their membership density remains low.
With your help, we want to do something about this. Let's work together and build a trade union culture in low security areas - a culture where the union stands up for staff rights, bargains for better pay and conditions, and helps young staff to get the best out of their careers.
Pushing for better conditions from the bottom benefits both established members and the profession as a whole. We all know that this exploitative employment model is creeping upwards.
Effective from 1 October 2017, if you are a PhD teaching in HE, ….., UCU will make your union membership free. We think this covers around 70,000 (mostly younger) staff - the majority of whom are struggling at the start of their academic careers.
It is a big offer and valid for four years (or until a more secure job is achieved). We need to remove every possible barrier in the way of young staff joining our union in the hope that positive, valuable, UCU experience will spark a lifetime habit.”