It's amazing how quickly it all becomes routine, how quickly we adapt to the new norm.
In the morning now, I get up, I gather all my clothes and layer them on, I check to make sure I have everything I need in my canvas strike bag -- extra gloves, umbrella, a new package of tissues -- and I put on the warm coat instead of the stylish coat. I leave the books behind. My daughter collects her school things, and grabs her picket sign. This is what is normal now.
Today talks between UCU and UUK, mediated by ACAS, began. At one point today I read a news article that indicated that the president of UUK wasn't even there -- she clearly had something else more important to do. It eventually became clear that most of UUK has something better to do, because despite having had UCU's documents for a week, they hadn't yet had time to review them sufficiently, and also wouldn't have time to meet again until Wednesday this week.
One wonders what else it is they are doing that could be more important than this.
One also wonders how on earth they can think that stalling will give us any incentive to do anything other than continue to strike, continue to gather at the pickets, continue to stand strong. Do they really think that by showing us so little regard is going to make us go, "Huh, I guess maybe I should go back to work, clearly I'm a valued and important part of the UK university system." I sometimes feel like those we are negotiating with seem to have forgotten who it is they are dealing with: We are smart, educated people, trained in history, in economics, in modeling, in critical thinking, in argumentation. You're not going to pull the wool over our collective eyes.