We, the undersigned staff in the Department of Anthropology, wish to echo the statements of support from colleagues in the Departments of Art, Educational Studies, Theatre and Performance, and Visual Cultures and offer solidarity to all colleagues on AL, GTT and fixed term contracts facing loss of income in the middle of a pandemic.
We recognise and highly value the contribution that our colleagues on AL, GTT, and FTC (fixed term contracts) bring with their immense knowledge, experience and diversity to the Department. They are central to our learning and teaching in Anthropology, and the Department cannot meet its obligations to students without them.
We also recognise the importance of providing teaching experience to our postgraduate research students. This is an essential part of their training and career development; we are committed to maintaining these crucial opportunities to support our young scholars and thus contribute to the future of HE.
We support colleagues across the College who are currently withdrawing from marking and unpaid labour in protest at the unfair treatment they have received in the blanket refusal to extend, renew or furlough those on AL and Fixed Term Contracts.
We are devastated by this inequity and dismayed by the potential loss of such an essential and valued part of the Goldsmiths community. These measures, imposed without consultation, will have a damaging effect on the youngest generation of researchers, many of whom make great sacrifices to pursue their careers and now, in the middle of a pandemic, find themselves confronting joblessness and a highly precarious future.
In addition, we have serious concerns about the impact of such a decision on the workload, equalities and contractual terms and conditions of permanent members of staff in this Department. Already many colleagues are struggling with the additional hours and caring responsibilities that have accompanied new working conditions under Covid-19 with a move to online teaching and professional services work. GUCU Health and Safety and Departmental Reps have cautioned salaried colleagues about taking on any extra work at short notice, while we investigate this unacceptable risk further.
Drastic cuts to the College’s ALs, GTTs and FTC colleagues are reckless and short-sighted. They devastate staff directly affected; they threaten the position of remaining staff and damage the learning and teaching we will offer to our students and researchers in the future. They also threaten the core values and reputation of our institution.
This Department calls for:
- Immediate honouring of payments across the College for all additional work done by AL/GTTs/FTFC
- Extension of AL/GTT/FTC contracts and furlough to be made available to all (rather than excluded on the basis of contract type)
- Full consultation on budget decisions related to staffing based on financial transparency
- Assessment of redundancy impact with proper and meaningful consultation with Union representatives both at Departmental and College-wide level
- Publication and distribution of all risk assessments that have been undertaken in relation to Health and Safety
- Publication and distribution of an impact statement in relation to Equalities
Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan
Isaac Marrero Guillamon