For some though, this particular new academic year marks a devastating period in their professional lives as with contracts due for renewal, the public sector moratorium tramples on their hopes, disregards their experience, their productivity and their talent and brutally casts them aside to join the ranks of the unemployed and the world of mortgage arrears. Its scattergun approach across the whole sector shows a complete lack of foresight, strategy and logic. The 'smart economy' is unlikely to be built on dumb decisions.
This may sound like a somewhat bitter posting, but its high time someone acknowledged the work of contract staff and their situation puts in perspective some of the fretting of those of in permanent posts about relatively minor issues (as frequently voiced at academic meetings and elsewhere), with the scale and impact of the recruitment freeze perhaps not yet fully appreciated.
If only it was in our power to do something about the situation. Of course there is talk that the moratorium may be challenged given that it is counter to the 1997 Universities' Act in denying autonomy to the institutions, but whether such will have any real traction remains to be seen.