14% pay cut since 2009!
Defend jobs & pay
Don’t cross the picket line
For united action against austerity
The Socialist Party calls on all workers and students to support the strike action by UCU, Unson and Unite members at universities tomorrow.
The people who work for our universities, from lecturers to library staff, are taking strike action on 31 October. Members of the trade unions UCU, Unison and Unite will all be taking action together. The official reason for the strike is pay. Academic staff have taken a real-terms pay cut of a whopping 13.8% since 2009. But many workers will tell you they’re also taking action because of ever increasing workloads, casualisation, zero-hour contracts and on-going issues of bullying and discrimination. These are all things which affect students. Underpaid, overworked and undervalued staff are never going to be able to give us the best help and support, however dedicated they may be.
We’re paying an enormous thousands of pounds a year to be at university, and yet university managements are reducing the portion of money they spend on the people who make the biggest difference to our experience of studying.
This strike is part of both the fight to defend education and to beat back the brutal austerity policies that are seeing jobs destroyed, living standards decimated and the future for our generation snatched away.
Are strikes the best way to fight?
No worker wants to have to go on strike. They lose their pay and it means those who use their services are unable to access them for its duration. But strikes are the most effective tactic the 99% can use to fight to change things for the better. Protests and demonstrations have their effect, but it’s often only when workers collectively down tools, exerting their economic power, that the bosses are forced into retreat. For students, this one day strike may be a minor inconvenience in the short-term, but the long term damage that’s being done to education will have far more detrimental effects if it goes unchallenged. Students have a duty of support and solidarity with workers fighting to defend education and against austerity and cuts. Students, busy accruing up to £50,000 in student debt, know only too well the viciousness of the Con-Dem government. This strike is part of building a movement against them. We must stand together with those who work in our universities. Their fight is our fight.