This week and some of next the universities are on strike. But not Kingston. The strike is about pay and pensions, specifically the USS scheme which is demanding higher contributions owing to a disputed actuarial decision. While this part of the dispute does not apply to Kingston, except perhaps to a small number of individuals, the pay side of the dispute most certainly does. Union support has never been particularly strong at Kingston. The last figures this blog has seen has a figure of about 50% UCU membership. Previous strikes were poorly supported; only a few stalwarts manned the picket.
Are the staff at Kingston so cowed they cannot even vote in enough numbers to arrest the decline of their pay and conditions? Meanwhile management pay rises above inflation as the academic and ancillary staff’s decline inexorably. The bitter irony of such incompetent individuals being rewarded for the damage they have done to the University must be obvious to all. Yet we cannot fight back, or the majority prefer to leave it to a small number, though will presumably pocket any proceeds from the industrial action without demur. Management must be rubbing its hands in quiet satisfaction. Dark times indeed.