bluefluff's blue fluff

Thursday, August 04, 2005

On the trail again

Just been doing a little late night spamming. The following message has gone to several OU Tutors conferences.........
This site aims to set out, as simply as possible, recent events relating to pay negotiations between the AUT local branch and the Open University management which have spurred Associate Lecturers - a fiercely independent, individualistic, geographically scattered and hitherto relatively isolated group - to organise this campaign.

Links will take you to a more in-depth treatment of the issues and a summary of the sequence of events that led to an historic mobilisation of Associate Lecturers to stop the gradual de-skilling and downgrading of our role, and to demand recognition from both the union and the university of our position as teaching academics with a vital role in the OU’s declared commitment to deliver good quality higher education.

(Not my text, but says it quite well!)

Haven't been "active" since daughter #2 was about two (she's at uni now) & I was running an election day committee room LOL Forgot how much fun it is!! Probably just as well that I'm clearing off for a couple of weeks before I get into trouble.

But seriously, it is a cause that matters.

Here's the "personal story in 200 words" I wrote in response to the campaign:

I’ve been a level 1 OU tutor, mainly in Arts, for almost 27 years, combining an academic career with raising four children. When I started out, all my students were older than me! I found it so much more rewarding to work with enthusiastic adults than youngsters who seemed to be at university for no particular reason except that it was there, and I gradually became hooked on the OU. I’ve learned at least as much as I’ve taught. Most of my friends now are OUers – colleagues and ex-students – and more recently, working online has opened up a wonderful community of like-minded people.

I'm saddened, though, by the way my role and responsibilities have been gradually eroded by a succession of "new improved" contracts. I used to stay with "my" students throughout their time with the OU, tutoring them as new entrants and remaining their counsellor through to graduation. There was a real sense of continuity, with a personal touch that's hard to retain now that I'm the family's main earner and have to pile one contract on top of another to keep the cashflow going. Being a full-time part-timer is hard work, but I still love the OU!

Yes, it's nearly 5am & I should be asleep, but there are battles to fight..........


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