Casual WdKA organizes grading strike at Willem de Kooning

Since the publication of the Social Safety Report that followed the resignation of our dean (in effect from September), we have been announced austerity measures with radical cuts in education as well as mass discontinuation of temporary contracts that undoes the EDI (Equity Diversity & Inclusivity) work that Office for Inclusivity has carried out. The past few months the WdKA community has expressed dissatisfaction for these measures through several official and non-official channels (community meetings, petitions, letters), as well as through participation councils that have urged management to reconsider the course taken in consultation with the wider community of WdKA. Management has disregarded the plethora of letters of discontent with the education cuts (IMR, OC, Petition of No consent, Petition Letter to Management, student letters) and have shown a total lack of accountability for their actions that led to overspending in the past few years. Hence, on Friday 9th June we announced a Grading Strike to our Management. You can read the press release here. We embark on this action thoughtfully, with gravitas and concern. As educators we care deeply about the students of WdKA, their learning conditions as well as the broader community, and culture of the Academy. We do not wish to cause any additional stress to students who are already, in many cases, struggling. However, the impact on students proceeds this action as the quality of their education is adversely impacted by cuts in contact hours and teachers’ worsening working conditions. We cannot, in good conscience, pretend we can continue to deliver quality education in light of the cuts and the discontinuation of our colleagues. We feel if we do not act now, things can and will only get worse for students, staff and the overall quality of art education provided by WdKA.

A collective of teachers and staff including representatives from different parts of the Willem de Kooning community in a press release on Casual WdKA grading strike announcement (Googledocs)