Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1079/30492

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2020

University workers win full pay for casual staff

photo Leeds UCU

photo Leeds UCU   (Click to enlarge)

Bea Gardner, Southampton University and College Union (personal capacity)

Like many workplaces, university bosses have come under fire for their slow and inadequate response to the coronavirus crisis. In Southampton, all three campus trade unions wrote to the vice-chancellor outlining our concerns about insufficient information and advice, including on home working and pay for casual staff.

We pushed for an urgent meeting, but initially, they did not respond to our requests. Our union branch unanimously passed a motion, taking a position that there should be no financial disadvantage to any employee, regardless of contract type, as a result of the virus.

The University and College Union (UCU) has recently taken 14 days of strike action. Part of the 'four fights' dispute is over excessive workloads and the use of exploitative, casualised, hourly paid contracts. Both issues have the potential to be exacerbated by this crisis, with cancelled teaching and classes moved online.

As a postgraduate research student, all the work I do teaching undergraduate seminars is hourly paid. I have no guaranteed hours or access to sick pay.

University central communications announced on 13 March that the Easter term would be brought forward by a week, with all scheduled teaching the following week cancelled. We received no confirmation on where that would leave precariously employed staff like me.

The following Monday, I received an email from my hiring manager stating we would not be paid for cancelled teaching. In addition, students received an email stating all assessments would be conducted remotely, before the staff had been told or asked if this was possible!

As a result of the trade union and student union working together to put pressure on university management, the university has now confirmed that casual workers will be paid in full for any scheduled teaching cancelled anytime up until 19 April.

However, it should not have been so hard. I see trade unionists up and down the country putting forward ideas for continuing to operate in a way that is fair and safe for all. But at the same time, I see incompetent management giving outdated advice which puts people at risk, as well as policies entirely unworkable on the ground.

The battle continues within the higher education sector for the proper equipment to work from home, appropriate processes for those with caring responsibilities and other issues.

We also face widespread cuts and redundancies if overseas student numbers fall. But while we have much bigger battles ahead, our union has shown this week that if you fight you can win. Collectively we can push back against any attacks to working people as a result of this crisis!

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 March 2020:


What we think

Coronavirus crisis: Tests, full pay and funding - for all now

State intervention shows what is possible


Coronavirus news

Coronavirus and domestic violence: a double threat to women's lives

Coronavirus news in brief


Coronavirus workplace news

We need tests for all now! Nationalise production and research

Retail and the coronavirus outbreak - organise to defend workers interests

Transport union RMT demands action for coronavirus tube safety

Organising in the workplace in the time of coronavirus

Union independence must be maintained - a reply to the Trade Union Congress

University workers win full pay for casual staff

Bosses not workers should pay for JCB shutdown


Social care

Social care: "Not good enough by miles"


Poll Tax

30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built


Coronavirus organising

Coronavirus: What role could community support groups play?

Selling the Socialist

Like what we say, help us keep saying it - fund the Socialist

'Meeting' to discuss socialist ideas - more vital than ever during the crisis


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 March 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

triangleMass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all

triangleCovid vaccines only first step - fight job losses, austerity and 'virus' of capitalism

triangleWe need union action, not platitudes!

triangleTories' school meals outrage

Pay:

triangleSteel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

triangleMorrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

triangleBritish Gas strike continues

trianglePCS Broad Left Network conference

University:

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

triangleRefund student rent and fees - fight for free education and make the 1% pay

triangleRefund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education

Workers:

triangleJustice for Mohamud Hassan!

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Road to Wigan Pier

Union:

triangleObituary - Jeff Edwards

Student:

triangleRefund student rent and fees

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

26/1/21

Scunthorpe

Steel site scaffolders strike for the 'rate of the job'

20/1/21

Strike

Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

20/1/21

NHS

On the NHS front line

20/1/21

Women

Socialist Party national women's meeting

20/1/21

Pay

Morrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

20/1/21

PCS

PCS Broad Left Network conference

20/1/21

Black Lives Matter

Police use Covid laws to intimidate BLM protesters

20/1/21

Students

Plymouth rent strike continues

20/1/21

Socialist

Why I joined the Socialist Party

20/1/21

Socialist Students

Refund student rent and fees

20/1/21

Competition

Christmas Crossword Competition

20/1/21

Fire

New Cross Gate fire 40 years ago

20/1/21

Black Lives Matter

Justice for Mohamud Hassan!

20/1/21

Food

Bosses profit out of 'starvation' food parcels

20/1/21

Lockdown

Life in lockdown - being home from school when you're poor is hard

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: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999