The recent nurses’ strike was interesting in that it was not just about pay but about the overall quality and safety of our health service. Nurses didn’t want to go on strike (who would ?) but felt they had no choice even if to do so would, in the short term, impact negatively on patient welfare. They were looking at the big picture and taking a long term view.
Likewise, while academics’ primary responsibility is to their current students, they also have a responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the higher education system is maintained. That can create a conflict: do I offend current students and colleagues for what I perceive to be the greater good or do I just keep the head down, pretend everything is ok, and just go with the flow.
I know what my choice is. In ten years’ time when I am about to retire I want to be able to look back and know that I did my best to provide my students with the best possible education and didn’t just choose to have an easy life.