Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11490

Posted on 21 March 2011 at 23:17 GMT

Wales university lecturers' strike just the beginning

University lecturers strike

University lecturers strike

University lecturers and support staff at Cardiff University, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University, Trinity-St David and Bangor University went on strike on Friday 18 March as part of rolling action called by the University and College Union (UCU).

Edmund Schluessel, Cardiff University UCU (personal capacity)

The day of industrial action was part of a series of rolling strikes around the UK on pension cuts, building up to a UK-wide day of strike action in post-16 education on 24 March on cuts to pensions, jobs and pay.

Employers continue to reject the UCU's offers of negotiation or ACAS-led mediation to end the dispute.

At Cardiff University, early morning pickets joined with students, including Socialist Students and other anti-cuts candidates in the ongoing Students Union elections, for a rally of 100 outside the university's main gate.

Labour Students, despite being fully briefed on the strike, declined to make an appearance. Pickets continued all day at Cardiff University Business School as lecturers encouraged students to join them in a boycott of academic activity for the day.

UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt spoke at the rally as part of a tour of Wales universities. She was joined on the platform by Cardiff University UCU activists Neil Badmington and I, UCU Wales president Guy Stoate, NUS Wales president Katie Dalton, Cardiff Against the Cuts secretary Ross Saunders and Andrew Price, a retired lecturer and former member of the national executive of Natfhe (one of the unions which merged to become UCU).

Comrade Price spoke of the employers' attack on pensions as broken promises and urged the building of a mass movement against not just cuts to education but all cuts.

At Aberystwyth University, students in their fourth week of occupation against education cuts showed their full support for the lecturers by hosting a "Free University" discussion on the economics and ideological motivation behind spending cuts.

60 lecturers attended picket lines throughout the day.

At Bangor University, UCU member Mikey West led upwards of fifty members in chants of "hands off our pensions" as passing cars honked their horns in support.

Student unions' response across Wales has been variable. Most have been supportive, with Swansea Students Union and Aberystwyth Guild of Students officially supporting the action.

In stark contrast, Cardiff University Students Union president and its academic affairs officer declined even to take part in a discussion about the strike with the Student Council, that nonetheless gave an indicative "expression of sympathy" for the lecturers after Socialist Students members of the council forced the discussion onto the agenda.

Outrageously, management at Coleg Gwent have forbidden Coleg Gwent Students Union president Mary Prescott from supporting UCU pickets on the 24th, and threatened to cut the Student Union's funding if they take a public stance!

Alex Gordon, president of the RMT sent a message of solidarity to the UCU on Friday, saying "On behalf of my general secretary, Bob Crow, our Council of Executives as well as all RMT officers and members we congratulate UCU members on being 'out of the starting blocks' straight away to confront the university and FE college employers." Earlier in the week, PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka and PCS President Janice Godrich sent a letter to the UCU where they sent their union's support and offered "any practical support we can give you today and for your planned actions across the UK later in the month."

While for legal reasons the strike on the 18th only concerned the USS pension system in place for workers at pre-1992 institutions, strike action on the 24th is about pensions for all universities and colleges as well as job security, pay cuts and gender equality.

Following the publication of the Hutton Report, the opening shot of an all-out capitalist war on public sector pensions, UCU hopes to build for joint action with all other education and public sector unions and has called for a one-day public sector strike against the cuts.

In Cardiff, the Thursday strike will build up to a UCU-led rally at 11:30am at the Senedd against the cuts to education imposed by the Labour-Plaid Cymru Welsh Assembly coalition.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Wales:

triangleCarmarthenshire union demands no-cuts budget

triangleTheatre: On Bear Ridge - an examination of loss, set in a post-apocalyptic world

triangleRail report into death of Cardiff Socialist Party member

triangleLondon: Showing solidarity with workers and youth on the mass demonstrations in Chile. 26.10.19

triangleWales: Hundreds march to save the Orb works

Lecturers:

triangleLincoln students back UCU ballot

triangleCollege lecturers strike for a pay rise

triangleCollege lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

triangleWelsh college staff set to strike on pay and workload

Strike:

triangleSouth African Airways workers win wage increase after strike action

triangleStrikes: more determined than ever

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

University:

triangleSixth-form college strikes: 'Sticking two fingers up at the Tories'

triangleResist attacks against free speech on campus

UCU:

triangleUni strike takes fight to bosses

Pension:

triangleMillions strike in France

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

12/12/19

PCS

PCS general secretary election

11/12/19

Walthamstow

Avenue of trees saved!

11/12/19

Podcasts

Latest podcasts

11/12/19

Carmarthenshire

Undervalued gritters to walk out

10/12/19

Socialist Party

Come and discuss with us after the election

10/12/19

Morrisons

Pay Deal: ACAS sides with management

10/12/19

Usdaw

The Activist Issue 82 - for retail workers

9/12/19

Swansea

Swansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

4/12/19

Socialist Party

Fight for your future - join the socialists

4/12/19

UCU

Strikes: more determined than ever

4/12/19

Socialist Students

Students and workers united in struggle

4/12/19

South Western Railway

It's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

4/12/19

Surrey

Surrey firefighters to ballot on Christmas industrial action

4/12/19

Hull

Social workers lobby Hull City Council

4/12/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: Students and trade unionists protest together

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999