covid is a disease, not an excuse!

Last October employers and the government insisted that university students be taught on campus. This les led to a huge outbreak of Covid cases, and must surely have contributed to the lives lost to Covid during this winter. Thankfully, on-campus activities for the HE sector have been limited since Christmas – as much from practicalities as from any learning of the lessons of last year. Yet, while HE workers are at less direct risk to COVID than workers in primary, secondary and further education, the effects of Covid are still causing major damage to both staff and students. Incidents of mental health are extremely high due to the bosses pressurising staff to work excessive workloads while juggling caring requirements. Students are being left without the support they require while paying exorbitant fees and rents. 

During the pandemic university bosses have launched a series of attacks on the pay, conditions and jobs of workers, based on the justification that the drop in student numbers means “rationalisations” must be made. In fact, in the sector as a whole, home undergraduate numbers have risen. University bosses will only do the right thing when forced to do so. Staff and students must support each other’s fight to get the resources they deserve. 

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