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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 November 2013

End the pay freeze: A united fight in post-16 education

Bristol university workers on strike in October 2013

Bristol university workers on strike in October 2013   (Click to enlarge)

A Socialist Party member in UCU

On 3 December university and college workers will be taking action. This strike day involves UCU, Unison and Unite members working in universities who struck on 31 October, now joined by further education (FE) members of UCU in England and higher education (HE) members of EIS in Scotland.

In HE, the employers' organisation UCEA returned to negotiations with the unions, but did not improve on the initial pay offer of 1% that triggered the dispute. Rattled by the 31 October strike, they have asked the individual employers to impose 1%. University workers are fully aware, however, that their employers have multi-million-pound surpluses and reserves while staff incomes have fallen by 13% in real terms since 2008.

FE staff have similarly experienced a 15% real-terms pay cut in the last four years, and have just rejected their employers' offer of a 0.7% increase - that is, another below-inflation rise - with over 70% voting to strike. This doubtless reflects the anger union members feel when research shows that over half the lecturers in FE work ten hours' unpaid overtime during an average week, for dwindling pay.

Many student unions and the NUS nationally have passed resolutions in favour of the action, with Socialist Students and other campaigning groups building support. Ultimately our interests are all the same - for a public, fully-funded education system, free at the point of use and democratically run.

This background makes the coordinated national strike action particularly positive - the more unions that can be brought out together, the greater chance of success. At the same time, it is important for each dispute to have a strategy and to keep its own momentum.

Industrially, we need to work to build for a 24-hour general strike against austerity; and politically, trade unionists and students need to consider the question of an alternative to the three parties of austerity. Education is under attack - we need to fight to defend it!

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In The Socialist 27 November 2013:


Socialist Party youth and students

No recovery for Britain's young people

Will angry youth turn to Labour?

NUS NEC votes to support education workers strike

Referendum victory for York housing campaign


Socialist Party news and analysis

We need a real living wage!

Nothing achieved by UN climate talks

Flower power - downfall of a banking boss

UK governments approved secret mass surveillance

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Europe - centre of capitalist crisis

Iran nuclear deal reflects changed world relations


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councillors: Say no to Tory cuts!

TUSC byelection candidates show cuts aren't necessary


Socialist Party workplace news

End the pay freeze: A united fight in post-16 education

Massive campaign planned against Underground cuts

Hull city council unions force cuts climb-down

Anti-blacklisting campaign will not go away

NUT election: Support for national action call

Criminal justice: More privatisation problems

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton: Labour flies the white flag in face of call to fight back

Brazilian socialist councillor speaks in Britain

Bristol: Art and Revolution


Socialist Party review

TV review: Amazon's exploitation exposed


 

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Related links:

Education:

triangleJohnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleNo 'back to school' until outbreak is under control and trade union agreed safety arrangements

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Education and exams

triangleSchools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

Pay:

triangleMore blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

triangleLeicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

Strike:

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleThe Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2

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Unions:

triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

triangleThe 'Lucas Plan'

UCU:

triangleSocialist Students speaking tour

University:

triangleSouthampton: University workers win full pay for casual staff

Students:

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

College:

triangleSixth-form strikers stand firm for increased funding

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