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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 February 2018

University bosses rocked - strikes can save staff pensions!

University of Nottingham UCU pensions strike 22 February 2018, photo Gary Freeman, photo Gary Freeman

University of Nottingham UCU pensions strike 22 February 2018, photo Gary Freeman, photo Gary Freeman   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Morecroft, Sheffield UCU anti-casualisation Officer (personal capacity)

"University chiefs split as strikes cause chaos!" read the front page of the Times on 23 February. They weren't wrong - after just two days of our planned 14-day strike programme!

Universities UK didn't expect this reaction. They thought they could get away with scrapping defined benefit pensions and stripping us of a decent guaranteed income in retirement.

But now they've provoked the most disruptive strike action seen in British universities in many years. It shows that university workers have had enough of marketisation and privatisation.

What's more, students angry at sky-high fees and savage education cuts are completely on the side of staff. And since they're now 'paying customers' they're demanding refunds of their fees!

Student support has been fantastic and at our campus in Sheffield around 500 staff and students gathered at our rally, with a carnival atmosphere. We've also held teach-out sessions and discussions of the strike with students.

We also have the support of the leadership of the Labour Party - unthinkable just a few years ago. Some Labour MP's have refused to cross picket lines, John McDonnell spoke at the Goldsmiths strike rally and Jeremy Corbyn posted a YouTube video sending solidarity and thanks to striking UCU members.

We have to ensure that the fantastic strength and energy of the first week's picket lines continues.

The bosses are divided, but we are strong - this attack on our security in retirement has provoked a massive response.

We need to keep the pickets solid, continue to build solidarity, and increase the pressure on UUK.

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In The Socialist 28 February 2018:


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Related links:

UCU:

triangleNottingham College UCU - more strike action planned

triangleUCU ballots - yes to strike action on pensions, pay, workloads and equality

triangleNottingham college workers plan 15 days of walkouts

triangleUCU conference 2019: Preparing for struggle

triangleUCU general secretary election: fight for a left leadership!

University:

triangleHow students can fight and win

triangleBirmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks

triangleLincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

triangleStop post-16 education cuts

Pensions:

triangleStop the latest Tory attack on our pensions

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleTories prepare to attack education workers' pensions

Strike:

trianglePCS members at BEIS maintain just fightback

triangleDVSA strike - employer asks for talks

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