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While buying a round of tea in the Students' Union this lunchtime, I noticed that the chap standing next to me was wearing a t-shirt which read:

Students Against Lecture Strike Action - salsa.susu.org

This makes no sense on a number of counts:

  • There is no "Lecture Strike Action", because teaching is proceeding as usual.
  • If they're referring to people with teaching duties, they should be aware that these are called "lecturers". As an aside, if the students can't distinguish between "lecturers" and "lectures", we're doing something seriously wrong.
  • This industrial action is not limited to lecturers, but to all members of AUT and NATFHE, a group which includes research and academic-related staff: librarians, administrative staff, system support staff, and so on
  • The strike action (meaning complete withdrawal of labour) was limited to a single day in March. They're complaining about what AUT/NATFHE distinguishes as "action short of a strike".

The URI doesn't point at anything in particular, redirecting to the SU homepage.

Being a mild-mannered academic, I of course said nothing.

nmg: (Default)

See this? That's where I work, that is. Fortunately, it's not the building that I work in, but the building next door which holds the electronics half of the department. [livejournal.com profile] ias and I drove up to see where all the smoke was coming from before we actually knew any details. Looks like the School of Electronics and Computer Science has lost the entirety of its microchip and fibre optic fabrication facility, which was the leading such facility in a UK university.

No details yet as to how the fire started, but there were at least sixteen appliances present, from as far afield as Portchester. There had been some reports of explosions, which is unsurprising given the amount of compressed gases used in the building. Advice to local residents (chiefly the Flowers estate area of Bassett Green) is to keep their windows closed because the smoke may be toxic. I'll say - there's some dead nasty stuff used in chip fabs. Wouldn't be surprised if there were radioactive sources as well, come to think of it.

On the plus side, I don't think that many people had offices in that half of the Mountbatten building, but the reports that the fire brigade had been spraying the adjacent buildings (probably including Zepler, where my office is) because they'd been starting to scorch is worrying. The power is out to all of ECS, so I've not been able to get at my email, but we've got good disaster recovery plans for data, and I've thankfully got the laptop at home.

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Nick Gibbins

August 2010

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