NU Women stands in solidarity with University and College Union members taking industrial action to defend our rights to secure contracts, equality at work, fair workloads, fair pay and a liveable pension. All of these issues affect women and other marginalised genders more than men, and intersect with other oppressive structures and relations.
- Women are already losing thousands from their pensions because of time out for caring responsibilities;
- At Newcastle, women earn 84p for every £1 that mean earn when comparing median hourly pay;
- Our workloads are debilitating for women who are often the ones who are taking on more of the domestic load at home;
- Women too often are expected to take on the ‘domestic’ work, and time-consuming tasks are not allocated equally;
- Women on precarious contracts are treated as ‘non-citizens of the academy’, are undervalued in terms of status, rights, entitlements, pay and decision-making power, and cannot plan on having children.
Much work has been done on equality, diversity and inclusion in HE in recent years, but this work often falls on the shoulders of women and other minoritised colleagues.
A higher education landscape without women is one that is hugely diminished, and one that will struggle to uphold the value of the institution. Striking can be seen as an act of care – care for the profession, care for one’s colleagues, care for students, and care for the future of Newcastle University.
However one took part in strike action – on the picket, virtually, withholding labour quietly by baking/going for a walk/watching a film instead of doing marking and teaching prep – we stand united in care and compassion. Together, we are stronger.