IT Strike Wall of Support
To Debra Humphris and Ruth Whittaker,
We are disappointed and horrified by the news that you are planning to cut IT support to students and staff and make IT staff redundant.
Firstly, redundancies during this time are unethical and outrageous – you are leaving people suddenly unemployed during a time that is already full of upheaval and zero security, when they will have little chance of finding alternative employment.
Secondly, the IT staff have been invaluable in easing us into this new world of being virtual students, a concept that would have been unimaginable this time last year. Without the fabulous IT support that we’ve received, this transition would have been a nightmare. The IT staff and tutors have worked together impeccably to make the course work in a way that sacrifices as little as possible of our learning and university experience.
Since our course began in September we have had only a small handful of days on campus and are once again entirely based online. We’re paying over £18,000 for a course where we have little access to any of the resources we would normally have – including radically reduced library access. Where are our fees going if they are not paying for resources that are essential to us and all of the teaching at this time (and all times)? We need living, breathing people available to help us efficiently and share their knowledge – not bots and FAQ pages and overstretched staff with significantly reduced capacity due to job losses and the vastly increased demand that comes with a shift to IT-based education. We don’t understand how this can be seen as a viable or sustainable option for the university and the thousands of students who study here (or rather, who study at home via IT systems).
Up until this point we have been proud to count ourselves among University of Brighton students, but this has cast a shadow over the experience.
We support the upcoming strike action and ask that you rethink this terrible decision that puts the future of our studying at risk. We would also appreciate a response that explains the reasoning and justification behind cutting core services that we need, and that our tuition fees should be paying for.
In anticipation of your response,
[Signed by 22 first year students, MSc Occupational Therapy, September 2020 cohort]
#SaveBrightonITStaff Paying £9,250 a year for university to be doing it all online and now cutting IT staff at University of Brighton when the majority of teaching is online, is our education a joke to them? @BrightonUCU
— shannon mcmanus (@shan_mcmanusx) November 19, 2020
Newcastle University UCU branch committee sends a message of solidarity to Brighton University UCU with your 5 days of strike action coming up 8th-12th February against compulsory redundancies
We know that you are not eligible for strike pay so our branch committee resolved to donate to your strike fund
Geoff Abbott Newcastle University UCU
Absolutely shocking – part of a pattern where the core business of university innovation, education and research is completely trivialised.
For what? Who knows.
— Willy Worker (@thetroutpouts) November 19, 2020
To all of Brighton’s strikers,
I’d like to send this personal message of solidarity as Brighton UCU have always supported me and our Liverpool Branch.
Your fight is always our fight and like in our dispute in Liverpool, your employer is targeting a group of staff who are crucial to all of your workers right now. Brighton UCU members are always inspirational and we will all support you every step of the way.
I’ve made a small personal donation (our branch have also donated) and we will continue to make sure our members in Liverpool are fully aware of your fight. You are not alone!
Thank you for taking this stand!
Chair University of Liverpool UCU and NEC
Also your VC getting basic things wrong like “response” instead of “respond”, dismantle the whole thing honestly
— Helen (@ohnoitshelen) November 19, 2020
Insane. IT is more important now than ever in HE. I expect the reality is that the student experience would improve if they sacked the VC and used the money to employ more IT staff.
— le Dog. (@the3dge0fSan1ty) November 19, 2020
Good luck to all our colleagues at Brighton; keep up the fight!
Professor Tony Crowley
University of Leeds.
Crazy….IT support vital in all educational establishments. Staff & support are key at the moment.
— Gill Ditch 💙 (@gillditch55) November 19, 2020
— kate parker (@Kate_Parker_) November 19, 2020
@uniofbrighton wonder who was the genius that decided the university should reduce IT staff during a mainly online stage of the world & pandemic… great call, totally cant see where that can go wrong 🙄 #SaveBrightonITstaff @thestereoeye @theokoulouris @_RyanBurns @BrightonUCU pic.twitter.com/NlX1fAVGLC
— ali 🖤 *Lynks Stan Account* (@hisnameisali) November 19, 2020
— Indie (@CastrIndia) November 19, 2020
It takes a special kind of insanity to reduce IT support in the midst of a global pandemic, where tutors and students have had to adapt to online learning to continue their education the best they can. What a shambles! https://t.co/cOHs3lEDSt
— Tom Brearley-Smith (@TBrearleySmith) November 19, 2020
Idk what it is about uni vice chancellors but they all seem to be money hungry assholes who couldn’t care less about their staff #SaveBrightonITstaff
— 𝓸𝓵𝓲𝓿𝓲𝓪 (@aivilomm) November 19, 2020
— shannon (@bl0wnrose) November 20, 2020
#savebrightonitstaff THIS IS SUCH A JOKE
— day-z (@oblowitsdave) November 19, 2020
So this is currently happening at my uni. They are planning on sacking the IT department. The chancellor doesn’t care and they are planning on striking. What about all this money I’m paying? #universityofBrighton #SaveBrightonITStaff pic.twitter.com/KER2mErn58
— Katie (@xkatiewoodward) November 21, 2020
Have Vice Chancellors/Uni management ever considered that maybe the Uni budget can't afford them? #SaveBrightonITStaff
— Rachael (@baylis_rachael) November 19, 2020
— chloe smyth (@Chloesmythie) November 19, 2020