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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2011

UCU members prepare for battle on pensions and pay

Students came onto the streets in their thousands in the closing weeks of 2010 and university occupations sprung up all over the country. UCU members - the union for lecturers and academic-related staff - gave their full support. Now it's UCU's turn to take the lead.

Dave Beale and Sarah Mayo (UCU, personal capacity)

National strike ballots in universities over the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), jobs and pay commence on 17 February, postponed from 2 February. On 23 February, university and college strike ballots commence on the Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS). Further education (FE) colleges in England are also balloting on pay.

The union is balloting on TPS pensions not only in FE colleges but also in adult and community education provided by local authorities. In addition, UCU will ballot lecturers in English colleges on the current 0.2% pay offer.

As Socialist Party members in UCU, we urge a strong 'yes' vote for industrial action on all these issues.

In Wales, FE college members have agreed to accept a 2.3% pay award which ensured that lecturers in Wales maintain pay parity with schoolteachers.

It would be disastrous at this stage for the national leadership of the union to waiver over the strike ballots as planned. Only special national UCU delegate conferences should have the power to call off action and make the key decisions over any settlements in these critical disputes.

Wednesday 23 March - Budget Day - provides the golden opportunity for a UCU national strike in both colleges and universities on all these issues.

Students would need little encouragement to strike too. This would precede the national TUC London demonstration on 26 March and should also be followed by a further one-day UCU strike on 1 April, the day the employers propose to introduce the changes to USS pensions.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 16 February 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

Join the fightback against cuts!

Labour councillors' arguments refuted at People's Convention

The Tories and the City

Hundreds pack into Liverpool meeting against cuts

Private tenants are the poor relations in housing

News in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: What next after the overthrow of mubarak?

Egypt - the revolution must go on

Hopes and fears in the upcoming Irish election: Socialist Party support increasing amongst working class


Workplace news and analysis

Defending jobs in South Wales

Portsmouth anti-cuts campaign presents an alternative

Rawmarsh teachers' action wins reprieve

No to Cutts!

UCU members prepare for battle on pensions and pay

Defend the Four!

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

Greenwich marches against brutal council cuts

Worcester: end the cuts and the coalition!

Reject 'TINA'- fight for socialism

Action across the country - fighting all council cuts


Marxist analysis: history

Britain 1911-1914: The great unrest - lessons for today


Socialist Students

Tuition fees increase spells misery for students: Build a united fightback!


Socialist Party reviews

Construction Safety Campaign

Mark Thomas: Extreme rambling


 

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