UCU leadership ignore majority for strike action

University and College Union (UCU) is to begin a process of sustained industrial action on the 10th October in defense of USS pensions.

This follows on from two days of strike action earlier in the year. The union membership was balloted for strike action and action short of strike action. Turnout for this ballot was up on previous votes, even though it was held over the summer months. The membership voted in favour of ‘strike action’ (58%) and ‘action short of strike action’ (76%). Although both courses of action were chosen by the membership, the union leadership is only offering members ‘action short of strike action’. This is a being put forward as a three-phase escalation of industrial action.

 

The first phase includes working to contract, but this is problematic, as many lectures and teaching staff have no set contracts and working hours. This won’t be effective and may not even be registered by the employers. The second phase consists of rolling strike action within each institution with different groups of staff taking turns to take action. However, this action, like the previous action outlined, is likely to leave union members isolated within smaller departments and without the broader support of the union. Is the UCU leadership asking their members to cross a picket-line as their particular department is not taking strike action on that day? This action would divide workers.

The third phase suggested is even less coherent. It requests members boycott the Research Excellence Framework, administrative processes and student assessment. This again is not a phase of industrial action that would strengthen the union’s position. What is needed is a clear strategy for industrial action as cuts to the pensions are about to be implemented. Building on from the two strike days earlier in the year, joining the public sector strike day on November 30th would bolster the union and link the fight over pensions in UCU with the broader struggles in the public sector.

A national strike across the public sector would be the most effective action to take and would lead to a more general fight back against all cuts.

 

Total
0
Shares
Previous Article

Hands off our Libraries!

Next Article

Socialist Party candidate contests parliamentary by-election

Related Posts

Pakistan – Emergency demands massive response

Workers in Europe donate

[See also TURCP website for eye-wittness reports, appeal, letters and details of how to send donations.]

The government in Pakistan is proving itself less and less effective in the face of what is still a mounting crisis for working and poor people. The efforts of the Socialist Movement of Pakistan (CWI in Pakistan) to organise assistance to trade unionists and their families through the Workers’ Relief Committee goes on unabated. At the same time they are demanding that all aid should be under the control of accountable representatives of the workers and poor through committees at all levels.

Dissident republicanism – Nothing to offer but a return to sectarian killings

Accordging to the Police Federation of Northern Ireland, dissident republican groups have been responsible for carrying out an average of two attacks a day since the beginning of the year.

These attacks range from high profile car bombings targeted against the police and army to so-called punishment shootings in Catholic working class areas. Regardless of how “successful” they are in the attacks they carry out, socialistpartyni.net (website of the Socialist Party - CWI Ireland) argues they have nothing to offer but a return to sectarian killings.