spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

* Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Pensions keywords:

Elderly (45)

Pension (284)

Pensioners (87)

Pensions (571)

Pension


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 986, 14 March 2018: Determined UCU strikers; We're out to win

Search site for keywords: UCU - Strike - Liverpool - Leicester - Students - University - Union - Workers - Pensions - Socialist Students - Universities - Lecturers - Pension - Tuition Fees - Occupation - Trade union - Student - Occupations - Higher Education

Socialist Students marching with the UCU in London, 14.3.18, photo by James Ivens

Socialist Students marching with the UCU in London, 14.3.18, photo by James Ivens   (Click to enlarge)

UCU strike continues: set dates for next national action

University and College Union (UCU) strikers have determinedly fought to keep the pensions strike going.

This will be a huge blow to the university bosses who were already on the back foot - and it is an indication of a union being transformed, rapidly growing and emboldened by action, with a membership that expects their union to be democratic and combative.

The offer by Universities UK (UUK) has been rejected by branches and the union's higher education committee. Dates need to be set for the next wave of national action and until then support should be built for the strike. Here are some reports of the struggle so far.


St Andrews

UCU's industrial action to defend the pensions of university staff, including lecturers, researchers and administrative staff, enters its fourth day. Thousands of workers at universities across the UK have gone on strike, many for the first time. Membership of the UCU has rocketed since the start of strike action.

The response of university bosses, whose huge pay packets have made headlines recently, and UUK, the body responsible for administering the 'USS' pension scheme, has been appalling and dismissive, driving many new workers into the union and onto the picket lines.

A massive victory was gained at the University of St Andrews where bosses threatened their staff with docking 100% pay for action short of a strike. A letter from the vice-chancellor to staff threatened the cancellation of initiatives aimed at improving the representation of women and minorities in the university should the pension scheme remain intact. The outrage among staff was palpable.

The letter drove more staff onto the picket lines and a large-scale campaign among university students and alumni, along with a refusal of the staff to be bullied, pushed management back. They now state that they will not dock pay in response to action short of a strike and have backpedalled on their threats to diversity initiatives.

Laurel Fogarty, UCU striker

Liverpool

Around 200 striking UCU members, students and other strike supporters assembled at the University of Liverpool Guild of Students building on 8 March before marching through the city in a tremendous display of strength, solidarity and determination in their struggle against vicious cuts to university staff pensions.

The marchers were greeted by a chorus of car horns as they made their way through the town centre from taxi drivers, bus drivers and even one man driving a Bentley!

Socialist Students and Socialist Party members attended the march, dishing out leaflets and selling copies of the Socialist.

The strike is enjoying massive support from students, the Liverpool community and the wider trade union movement, as shown by how Communication Workers' Union postal workers have refused to cross picket lines by delivering mail to the university, forcing staff to collect the mail themselves from the post office depot!

Jack Yarlett, Liverpool Socialist Students

Leicester

UCU members and students questioning the vice chancellor, Leicester uni, February 2018, photo Steve Score

UCU members and students questioning the vice chancellor, Leicester uni, February 2018, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

From 5 to 7 March, students occupied part of the administrative floor of the Fielding Johnson building at the University of Leicester. It was one of many student occupations across the country in solidarity with striking lecturers and academic staff united in the UCU, fighting cuts to their pensions.

Alongside this, students at the University of Leicester were fighting back against the appointment of David Willetts as the new chancellor of the university. Willetts is the Tory ex-minister for universities, who oversaw the tripling of tuition fees from 3,000 to 9,000 a year.

Despite initial difficulties with security and administrative staff, students managed to secure the occupation and clear the offices, with great support outside from striking UCU staff and other students. After several hours of protest the management was forced to meet with students.

The meeting was held, attended by democratically chosen delegates from the occupiers. However the concessions offered were unsatisfactory to the students and UCU alike. The vice-chancellor refused to change his position on the appointment of Willetts, and attempted to defend his despicable voting record on LGBT+ rights and his atrocious actions over tuition fees. Students wouldn't take no for an answer and voted to extend the occupation.

Under pressure a meeting was agreed with David Willetts present where all staff and students were welcome to question him and openly discuss his appointment as chancellor. Alongside this, management agreed that the process by which the next chancellor is chosen needs to be changed to a democratic one, and to take steps towards this goal.

But management failed to address the concerns that students raised regarding David Willetts, maintaining support for his appointment. They also completely failed to come out in support of striking UCU lecturers.

Therefore we are continuing the fight against Willetts, against cuts and against the marketisation of education.

Taran Spivey, Leicester Socialist Students

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







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: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999