Author Archives: laurencetotelin

A labour of love: Strike diary 18

As university teachers, we are encouraged to embrace ‘innovation’. ‘Innovation’ often boils down to adopting new technologies. I’m very much a nerd, and I love to try out new software and gadgets. But at the end of the day, in … Continue reading

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I swear by Apollo: Strike diary 17

It’s day three of our strike. The weather is wet and generally miserable. This is where things are starting to get tough, and resolve can be dampened. For various reasons, I find it hard to stand still on a picket, … Continue reading

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Back where it all began: strike diary 16

On this second day of our strike, I have done something that pushed me entirely out of my comfort zone: I MCed (was the Master of Ceremony) for our daily rally. While we have had many women speakers at rallies … Continue reading

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Bled dry: strike diary 15

Content warning: blood So here we are again: we are back on strike. We are on strike over pensions, pay devaluation, pay inequality, job insecurity and rising workloads. We will be out for eight days, but the union is talking … Continue reading

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Fighting the multi-headed hydra: Strike diary 14

I last wrote on the final day of our strike action to save our pensions. Since then, I have been on ‘action short of a strike’. What that means is open to debate, but I have simply decided to work … Continue reading

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Bella Ciao: Strike diary 13

This extraordinary month of strikes has come to an end. We had a great rally at Cardiff University today, with rousing speeches and rallying songs. Then many of us who are involved with the union retired to the pub. In … Continue reading

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Take heart, sailors: Strike diary 12

We are now nearing the end of our planned strikes. Tomorrow will be our last day. There will probably be further strikes in April, May or June if negotiations fail to bring resolution to this dispute, but we will return … Continue reading

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Cross-pollination on the pickets: Strike diary 11

Strikes are unnerving and unsettling. It is perhaps for that very reason that they are also sites of great creativity. There is so much art in making placards, creating slogans,  and writing strike songs. Our Cardiff rallies are becoming more … Continue reading

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You’ve got the butterflies all tied up: Strike diary 10

The last 24 hours have been filled with drama. At 8 pm yesterday, a tweet by the Financial Times pensions correspondent, Josephine Cumbo (who has been doing excellent work throughout this dispute), announced that an agreement had been reached between … Continue reading

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The money tree: strike diary 9

“Money doesn’t grow on trees”. In essence, that is what we are constantly being told in universities. If we, as staff, point out the discrepancy between that message and the fact that UK universities are engaged in huge building projects … Continue reading

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