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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2006

UCU: Left victory in sight

THE FOUNDING conference of the UCU Left - the broad left of the new university and college lecturers' union - has marked a key step forward by overwhelmingly endorsing Roger Kline for the forthcoming general secretary elections.

Dave Beale, Manchester University UCU, personal capacity

Over 100 activists were at the conference in Manchester on 25 November and the decisions are of particular significance. The outcome of the general secretary's election, to be held early in the new year, will be decisive for the direction of the University and College Union (UCU) over the next five years. It is of great importance for academic workers in both further and higher education.

The higher education section of the union, now representing lecturers, researchers and academic-related staff in all universities, went through a bitter pay dispute earlier this year. The 'old' university side of the union, under the leadership of the AUT and Sally Hunt, unexpectedly settled at a critical stage in the dispute. This caused uproar - and many sections of the union blame Sally Hunt and are determined to ditch her in the current general secretary elections.

Peter Jones is the third candidate in these elections, commands considerable respect, is active in the UCU Left and also addressed the conference. However, the consensus of the UCU Left conference was to endorse Roger Kline's candidature, although quite rightly there were no blank cheques on offer to him. It is hoped that Peter Jones will now step down as a candidate, avoiding a split vote on the left.

All UCU activists who want to see a new, fighting union that seriously challenges the employers and government policy, in both the further and higher education sectors and on international issues, should now campaign for Roger Kline's election. However, this represents only the beginning of a critical new stage in increasing industrial conflict in FE and HE institutions, and greater union links and strength in joint struggles affecting the respective sectors of post-16 education. These have the potential to link up with students' demands and wider political campaigns.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 7 December 2006:

NHS campaigns unite

Blair's health service lies

NHS mass protests continue

Building the national day of action

ITC programme fails

Diary of events


War and terrorism

Bush and Blair still in denial

"The greatest strategic disaster in American history"


Workplace news

Strike threat forces victory

300,000 workers in PCS strike Ballot

"Merry Christmas Mr SCCrooge"

Blood service staff prepared to fight job losses

UCU: Left victory in sight

JJB workers fight sackings


Socialist Students

"Stop the rent rises!"

Campaign to Defeat Fees is building across London

CDF online petition launched!

Fight Blair's divisive academy programme


Socialism 2006

Socialism 2006

Britain's Muslims under siege - which way forward?

"Inspired and informed"

Do you have to be red to be green?

Socialism 2006 - another major step forward


Socialist Party news and analysis

200 march against Lincoln's far right

Trident - a waste of our money

Privatised rail bosses hike up fares

MPs wannabe rich


International socialist news and analysis

Chávez re-election - a set-back for the right

Balance sheet of WASG national conference

Political tensions rage in Bolivia


 

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Related links:

UCU:

triangleSocialist Students speaking tour

triangleNottingham uni occupation ends

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

triangleUni strikers determined to defeat the bosses

triangleUniversity workers' strike escalates

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

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