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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 February 2022

University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

University and College Union (UCU) members began the second round of strike action in the current national dispute on 21 February. This is happening because university managers and their national representative, Universities UK (UUK), have not agreed to the UCU's demands. UCU members are striking over changes to their pension scheme, following a valuation carried out during the pandemic-induced financial crash, which UUK is using to justify cuts and changes to terms. They are also striking over the 'Four Fights': pay, casualisation, equality, and workloads.

Leicester

Leicester, photo Steve Score

Leicester, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

The co-chair of the UCU branch at Leicester University told the Socialist:

"This is a serious dispute for us. Yes, it's about pensions, pay and conditions and the gender pay gap. But it's also about our right to be treated with dignity as human beings working inside the university. We have seen a massive erosion of our wages and pensions over recent years. We can't take any more of this, we are standing up for our rights. We've had brilliant support from the students' union and the other trade unions in Leicester."

Bradford

As both a second-year student at Bradford University and Socialist Party member, I went down to the picket line at Bradford Uni to show my support. I spoke to many passionate staff members, including some of my very own lecturers, who are bravely fighting for a fair pay system and a fair pensions system.

For the past 12 years, education has been under attack from a government that only cares about profit instead of paying university staff fairly, and providing students with top-quality education. Now, both of these groups are out on the picket lines fighting for a fair and equal university system. I'm proud that our party is supporting these strikes and I hope this sends a message that university staff will not put up with any more unfair attacks on their pay and pension.

Tom Gibson, Bradford Socialist Party

Sheffield

At the University of Sheffield, members are also disputing management's decision to close the world-renowned archaeology department - so far winning concessions on involuntary redundancies - but the fight continues to retain the department.

UCU members picketed Sheffield University buildings across campus and remained in good spirits despite horrible weather, and the news that the university will be making strike pay deductions in one go instead of over multiple pay cycles, in an obvious attempt to weaken UCU members' resolve by impacting their finances. This will hit casualised staff the hardest. There needs to be a collective response to this by the union.

In solidarity, students organised occupations of five key university buildings - a new occupation on each strike day - and successfully gained control of buildings that hold most teaching across all departments. This caused significant disruption and, in the university's own words, significant detrimental consequences to an 'applicant open day', which they said could negatively impact finances.

Student occupiers faced intimidation by security but carried out their operation as planned. On 18 February, the courts granted a possession order on all buildings, following which the occupiers left all but one building. During this, security refused to return property and demanded ID in a cynical attempt to identify the participants and possibly bring academic sanctions against them.

The success of the occupations and the disruption it created show that student-staff solidarity is key in the continuing fight against an exploitative, bloated higher education system.

Dan Glaser, Sheffield Socialist Students

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In The Socialist 23 February 2022:


News

Unite and fight for a decent pay rise

Johnson scraps Covid safety measures

Tories instruct teachers to wipe Britain's real history

Bus services under threat


International news

Ukraine: Workers' unity against capitalist warmongers and imperialist meddlers

Canada: Prime Minister Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to end 'Freedom Convoy'

One year after the military coup in Myanmar


NHS

Privatisation and crisis in the NHS


Erdington by-election

The Erdington byelection and the fight for a new mass workers' party

Vote Nellist for a workers' MP in Birmingham Erdington


Workplace news

Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions

University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table

Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action

Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

Barts NHS workers to walk out again on 28 February

Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Rail workers strike in Sheffield


Students

Workers and students unite and fight

Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout


Campaigns news

Restore Cardiff's slashed services

Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate

Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation

London Socialist Party women's meeting

1 March: Socialist Party new website launch


Review

TV review: This is Going to Hurt


 

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Related links:

UCU:

triangleUniversity workers striking back

triangleSupport the university strikes!

triangleUniversities: Strike action at 68 in two disputes

triangleLondon colleges victory

triangleUniversities strike - build the action and stand united to win

University:

triangleSave St Mary's Leisure Centre

triangleSouthampton student vote for online exams must be accepted

triangleUni support staff strike ballot

triangleStaff and students unite against university bosses' attacks

Workers:

triangleFor workers' unity against war in Ukraine

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleCanada: Prime Minister Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to end 'Freedom Convoy'

Strike:

triangleRail workers strike in Sheffield

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Pay:

triangleTV review: This is Going to Hurt

Bradford:

triangleMemorial meeting remembers Pauline Wall

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/22

Cardiff

Restore Cardiff's slashed services

23/2/22

Pay

Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

23/2/22

UCU

University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

23/2/22

London

Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions

23/2/22

Students

Workers and students unite and fight

23/2/22

Fees

Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout

23/2/22

Brighton

Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

23/2/22

Anti-cuts

Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate

23/2/22

Newham

Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation

23/2/22

Women

London Socialist Party women's meeting

23/2/22

Socialist

1 March: Socialist Party new website launch

23/2/22

Coventry

Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

23/2/22

Strike

Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table

23/2/22

Usdaw

Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action

23/2/22

Anti-cuts

Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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