ACG members who work in education have just launched their new “soapbox”, Zero for Conduct, named after an old French film about a rebellion in a school.
Zero for Conduct aims to promote solidarity among education workers and users. It is a campaign to be led by workers and students, without hierarchy or mediation.
In its welcome message, Zero for Conduct says:
“This is the rebel education worker soapbox. It is intended to provide a voice, a place to share and find information, and an opportunity to organise for all who work in education, whether as a cleaner, catering worker, janitorial staff, teacher, lecturer, or classroom assistant, in universities, colleges, schools or adult education departments or organisations. We are all at the front line in making education work.
“Throughout the pandemic, education management have shown disdain for the workers who actually make the schools, colleges, universities and other establishments run. Our labour educates the next generation, but our working conditions and pay don’t tell us we’re valued. Pay has stalled, recruitment decreased, workload increased, and our establishments are increasingly run like businesses, with cost cutting and the bottom line taking priority, while staff and students are played off against each other.
“With that in mind, we invite students to this soapbox too. Divide and rule has no place here. To management, students may be the products of the education factory, but to us they are human beings with whom we share a responsibility for solidarity. Respect and solidarity are two-way processes, and they are valued here.
“Any attack on our working conditions means also a drop in quality for the educational experience for students. Worker-student solidarity is the way to defend both.”