To All Concerned,
The Department of History GUCU offers its unequivocal support for the Associate Lecturers who have been forced to take collective action, including the withholding of assessment grades, as a result of the unhelpful policy adopted by the SMT regarding Associate Lecturer contracts and the ongoing tension between casualisation and greatly overburdened workloads.
The decision to suspend the hiring of Associate Lecturers and the denial of furlough to current Associate Lecturer staff is of deep concern, particularly when the current covid-19 situation means that Associate Lecturers and other casualised staff are being forced to work many extra and unpaid hours. We are fundamentally opposed to this unfair treatment of casualised staff in our institution and to the decision to refuse furlough. These measures will not just affect casual staff. They are highly likely to result in higher and/or suddenly changed workloads for permanent staff, and risk harming staff health and safety, equalities and terms and conditions, as well as our students.
For an institution which prides itself on a progressive and social justice agenda to adopt policies towards its vulnerable staff that align Goldsmiths with some of the most exploitative employers in the country (let alone the Higher Education sector) is troubling indeed. That Goldsmiths management have decided that the financial uncertainty caused by Covid-19 should fall upon precarious teaching staff who make up approximately 7% of Goldsmiths’ wage bill but are asked to perform about 40% of the teaching, is both myopic and illogical. We offer our full solidarity and support to our vulnerable colleagues, and the difficult decisions they have made in response to reckless management actions which can only be of harm to the culture, reputation, and ongoing functioning of Goldsmiths.
We call on the SMT to reverse these decisions relating to our non-permanent colleagues, and recognise the invaluable contribution they make to the functioning of Goldsmiths, rather than treating them as secondary and expendable resources.