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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 June 2008

Socialist Students

Student unions can be pushed into action

On Wednesday 18 June, Southampton University Students Union (SUSU) picketed the University of Southampton senate meeting.

This was a continuation of their campaign to stop the university from taking away the SUSU president's vote on the panel that appoints the next vice-chancellor.

Around 20 SUSU activists (including five Socialist Students activists) picketed the meeting. Our placards read: "students voice silenced", similar to those on the last demonstration in May when over 100 students occupied the building where the university court took place.

The meeting ended in success for SUSU as senate decided to recommend a reversal of the decision to revoke the SUSU president's vote. This still has to be carried out by the university council, the highest decision- making body of the university.

It is important for student unions such as SUSU to not only get voting rights on these panels, but to use them to campaign against tuition fees and the increasing marketisation of higher education, among other issues students face.

SUSU must draw the conclusion from this campaign that the only way students' voices can be heard is through involving as much of the membership as possible in protest and action and not by subordinating themselves to the management. The University of Southampton have already begun budgeting for doubling their fees to 6,000 a year, so confident is the university management of the cap being lifted.

Socialist Students and the Campaign to Defeat Fees aim to play a leading role in a campaign against this. In the immediate term, staff at the university face the threat of mass redundancies. Let's hope the students union learns the lessons of action and links up with the lecturers' union UCU and other on-campus unions to defend education for all.

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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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In The Socialist 25 June 2008:

Prices up, Wages down...Summer of action needed!

Workers' battles win results: Tankers drivers' success upsets bosses

Council workers striking back


Socialist Party editorial

Editorial: Summer of discontent?

PCS union sends letter of solidarity to Unison

Campaign for a new workers' party: Conference - Sunday 29 June, 11am - 5pm


Unison Conference 2008

Unison conference 2008: Fighting to reclaim the union for its members

Unison Service Group Executives - socialists elected

National Shop Stewards Network Conference

Fighting, democratic unions not witch hunts


Socialist Party campaigns

Thousands show their hatred for racism

Student unions can be pushed into action


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Review: False 'gods' of a failing system


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's militias crush his political opponents

Afghanistan - paying the price of western occupation

Summit fails to halt runaway oil prices

Britain: No.1 arms dealer


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Cut throat competition threatens NHS

"With polyclinics you're just a number"

Stop this sell-off!


Origins of the Labour Party

'Old' Labour - born out of workers' struggles


Socialist Party workplace news

Brighton bus drivers match inflation

Teachers fight academy plans in Bolton

Union news in brief

Usdaw election


 

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