Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/538/6189

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 June 2008

Victory against bosses at Keele

Staff at Keele University have won a modest victory at a time when working conditions are being attacked right across the higher education sector. It shows that even when management are fighting from a position of strength, they can be forced to retreat by determined, united action.

Six months from when Keele management announced its "non-negotiable" plans for closing courses and axing posts, news came through that the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) had forced the Vice-Chancellor Janet Finch and her management team to the negotiating table.

Job cuts

The dispute began shortly after the start of the Christmas holidays when management announced the closure of the Centre of Health Planning and Management and the School of Economic and Management Studies.

These were to be replaced with a smaller Business school that would be, allegedly, more in tune with the higher education market place. Out of 67 staff, 38 would have been made redundant, including ten of the 12 staff belonging to the SEMS Industrial Relations group.

SEMS is a major academic resource for the labour movement, training activists and officials, and providing commissioned research for trade union bodies. All this sits uneasily with management's corporate vision for Keele as a 'business-friendly' institution.

On 3 April around 250 people demonstrated their opposition to the closures as council, the university's governing body, met to decide the fates of the threatened departments. Unfortunately on that occasion management were successful, their plans were endorsed - the two student representatives being the only ones to vote against.

Union members decided to step up our action. The union's objectives were very modest - to negotiate the terms of the redundancies and the course content of the new business school. To that end UCU members refused to carry out certain bureaucratic procedures.

Staff in SEMS carried out a marking boycott and from 13 June, the national UCU was going to enforce an international 'greylisting' of Keele - an academic boycott of journals and conferences based at the university.

The day before the boycott was due to start the union announced that under pressure management had caved in to the union demand for meaningful negotiations.

A Keele worker

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 18 June 2008:

No! to racism: Yes! to decent jobs, homes and public services

No! to racism: Yes! to decent jobs, homes and public services

Unite and fight against racism

Protest at BNP 'hate festival'

Let AmDani stay!

conference


International socialist news and analysis

Lisbon Treaty 'No' vote delivers major shock for political and big business Establishment


Socialist Party campaigns

Shell drivers strike

David Davis - sanity or carving a position?

Greater Manchester - save your post office

London protest over Rajapaksa's dismal human rights record

Stop big business polluting our environment


Education

Stop New Labour's divisive school academy plans


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Polyclinics - Stop this backdoor privatisation

PFI - a very bad deal for the NHS

Reopen the battle on NHS pay


Socialist Party campaigns

End the occupations

Unison conference: Angry delegates attack leaders


Post office closures

Leeds: Stop Beeston post office closures


Socialist Party workplace news

National Shop Stewards Network Conference

CWU's link with Labour hotly debated

Victory against bosses at Keele

Workplace news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 June 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

UCU:

triangleUniversity teaching moves online in England

triangleFurther education workers win pay rise in Wales

triangle

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Keele:

triangleUCU strike: bosses on the run

Education:

triangleRefund student rent and fees

triangleSocialist Students national meeting: Refund the rent, cancel the fees and fight for free education

triangleExams scrapped again - young people need a future with jobs and free education

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

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

20/1/21

Teachers

Teachers: On the front line, in their own words

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