26th March Following the considerable opposition to the termination of Yaa Asare’s contract
We are happy to report that our fellow member has been assured of a permanent contract. Please get in touch with the branch chair if you wish to know more about how we can reproduce the actions which were successful in this case to support casualised and BAME staff in your branch. Spread the word, our union is our strength.
12th March The following motion was passed unanimously at the Falmer Branch meeting:
This branch notes
- the small number of black academic staff at the University of Brighton;
- that according the University’s own statistics, black staff less likely than white staff to be on permanent contracts and are more than twice as likely to leave because their contracts come to an end;
- the attempt by the University to end the employment of Yaa Asare on the grounds that she is on a fixed term contract, despite the fact that she has over four years continuous service and has worked in SASS and Education since 2005;
- that this is despite Sociology’s CDR document explicitly recommending that Yaa be made permanent in order to maintain the ‘essential sociological field of race and ethnicity’.
This branch believes
- that Yaa’s situation is an instance of institutional racism whereby black staff find themselves disproportionately targeted by cost savings because they tend to be in more precarious employment;
- retaining black staff is crucial for efforts to decolonise the curriculum and for making the University a comfortable place to study for black students;
- that dismissing Yaa would signal that the University lacks commitment in tackling the BME attainment gap and achieving the Race Equality Charter Mark.
This branch calls on the Vice Chancellor to reverse the decision to dismiss Yaa and instead issues her with a permanent contract.