‘I have three degrees. But I am struggling to make ends meet’

Lucyna Rossa, lecturer

I train people to overcome their mental blockages through acting. But this year, I had two burnouts. An ambulance had to come and collect me because I fell down in the classroom while teaching. I was taken out of the room, shaking and crying.

I have three degrees, I studied for a long time and worked hard to be a lecturer. But now, I am struggling to make ends meet. I like to be paid fairly.

Inflation is another thing but staff have always being underpaid at Arts University of Bournemouth. I worked at AUB as a lecturer for three years now, helping to keep the institution afloat during the pandemic and making sure that the students could continue their studies as normal as possible. I am on the same wage as an assistant researcher which for most institutions in this country is not even on the very bottom a lecturer’s scale.

I shop at Lidl to save some money. I am very sorry and feeling sad that the students are losing their studying hours. But it is important to understand the larger picture. If I am collapsing during the lecture, how can I teach the students with focus and concentration.

In my discipline I work with organic emotions, this can be a very delicate and easily upset area and naturally this work requires finesse, creativity and presence from the tutor. A tightrope if you like. To stay on the tightrope without falling off of it, a condition of presence must be met. Tiredness and fatigue are most damaging to both, student’s learning and tutor’s ability to help them tackle this precarious area.

My students needs lot of support and that’s all on my shoulders. I absolutely wanted to regulate my working hours. I like to spend my time and energy on teaching and research rather than administrative-related work. A teacher is that person who can transforms a student’s life. So, appreciate and respect us.

As told to Ashish Kataria.

Symbolic Image from Pexels by Yan Krukau.

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