Last term, Casual Leiden - alongside Casual Academy, 0.7, and WOinActie - participated in the 'Doomsday Clock' initiative. We gave the CvBs across the country one term to make good on their promise to address the plight of docenten in local negotiations. Unfortunately - but perhaps unsurprisingly - this did not happen. The clock ran out on 20th December and we published our pledge for action, which you can still fill in.
This term, the intensification of action continues. This will be important both locally and nationally, as on the 1st April the current ‘industrial peace’ agreed nationally between the employers and the unions comes to an end. A new cycle of negotiations for the collective labour agreement will then start again. It is therefore vital that we build up the necessary pressure in the lead up to these talks to make sure employers do not, once again, shirk their responsibilities when it comes to questions of casualisation, workload, and social safety.
The first date for the agenda in this process is the 14th February. On that day, Casual Leiden is participating in a national day of action, alongside the national networks Casual Academy, 0.7, and WOinActie, on the theme: The University Won’t Love You Back.
Between 9:00-11:00 There will be two live-streamed discussion (https://radbouduniversity.zoom.us/j/85748076710?pwd=a2NKTFVvVm1FeHNmeUhKRjNJSVZGdz09) organised by Casual Utrecht and 0.7 in the morning (both of these will be in Dutch). First, from 9.00-10.00, Dr Sanne Frequin will be interviewed by Dr Nike Stam about her podcast 'Ik Vertrek' [I am Leaving], and her reflections about casual work in Dutch Universities. This will be followed, from 10.00-11.00, with an interview of Prof. Floris Cohen, carried out by Rens Bod and Tim de Winkel, about his book: 'De Ideale Universiteit' [The Ideal University].
At 13.00, we will gather for a demonstration outside the Leiden Faculty of Social Sciences (Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden) We will be joined by other Casual groups from around the country, activists from the Leiden department campaigns, WOinActie, and others. A first poster for the day is available here and below. Please print, attach to your door, and circulate widely. For those of you in Groningen, you can join the demonstration in front of the Academy Building at 12.00, organised by OrganisetheRuG
At 15.30, the AOB is organising its annual AcademieKus award ceremony. This year the prize will be given out to an organisation that has led to a concrete increase in permanent contracts. The event will be live-streamed and you can register here: https://www.aob.nl/agenda/academiekus-academix/. For those who prefer to watch the event collectively, you can join Casual Leiden in the Verbarium (Room 104 - Vrieshof 3) from 15.15.
Finally, in collaboration with 0.7 and OrganisetheRUG, Casual Academy is collecting testimonials from colleagues who are facing insecure or precarious working conditions, structural overwork and other sources of distress on the work floor. This information will be used to create awareness about precarious contracts, casualisation, and how they affect individuals, their careers, and their professional development. You can remain anonymous if you wish. Please fill in the form and share it with colleagues who might be interested.
Last term we encouraged supporters to:
Sign the petition Academia does not love us back - Petities.nl it will continue until the end of the semester.
Make their support visible by printing these posters Petitie (zeropointseven.nl) and spreading them around offices.
Take pictures of themselves, their colleagues, and their friends, holding up these signs, and post them on all social media outlets using these hashtags: #staffshouldstay, #casualacademy, #academiawontloveusback, #casual[name of your institution]. You can download a template from the website of CasualLeiden
Enroll in your local ‘casual group’ (see here and here) or contact us to raise a new one.
Free the 14th of February in your agenda to demonstrate with us. Convince your colleagues and students to join as well.
It is only through visible and sustained campaigning that the CvBs have even been prepared to acknowledge us and issue statements of intent. It is clear that only more action will deliver real, structural, and meaningful change. Only when we stop the normal running of the university, will management be forced to change its ways. It is time for a real new normal. This is why CasualLeiden will continue to mobilize and why we are asking for your support. Pledge your support for further action and join the fight for a better, fairer, and more inclusive university. All information will remain completely confidential and no action will be called without an open, democratic assembly that will collectively decide on the way forward. By signing this pledge you are indicating your support to the campaign as well as the actions you are prepared, in principle, to participate in.
Our goal is a simple one: we believe all staff in our universities deserve fair, respectful, and dignified working conditions. As long as our universities fail to meet these basic expectations, and continue to rely on casualisation, we will bring the action to them. While the failure of successive governments to adequately fund higher education is undoubtedly an issue - and one which the recent government agreement once again replicates - we refuse to be the casualties of a conflict that our managers are avoiding to take on. We continue to hope that the CvBs will hear our message and acknowledge the crucial work done by thousands of colleagues on temporary contracts, who carry out key, vital, and structural work in our institutions. And we continue to hope that they will realise that it is urgent time to treat these colleagues with the basic respect and dignity that they deserve. But since our doomsday clock has come to an end, we also tell them: Time’s Up! Get Ready For Action!