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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 July 2011

Next time - strike together...

Susan Wills, branch secretary University and College Union (UCU), Waltham Forest College

Thursday 30 June was a great day of action for UCU - on our second strike day this academic year.

At my own college, a lively picket line was maintained throughout the morning, with more UCU members taking part than ever before. We were joined by anti-cuts campaigners, local pensioners, union members and reps from other organisations - and received strong support from motorists and passers-by.

This refuted the media claim that 'the public' were not on-side in this battle.

A number of us joined the march in central London, along with our children, friends and colleagues, our union banners and home-made placards. Later on, a lucky few made it into the fantastic rally at Westminster Central Hall where the general secretaries of each of the four striking union leaders gave rousing speeches demanding fair pensions for all, and broadening out the issue into a wider defence of education and public services.

From the NUT and ATL, young newly-qualified teachers explained what the pension proposals would mean to them, whilst struggling to pay back student loans, and trying to afford moving into a place of their own.

From UCU, two London reps gave two quite different perspectives on the post-16 sector. Mark Campbell's storming speech expressed anger at the government attacks on higher education - with 70% of courses under threat at London Metropolitan University - while Annie Holder from Lewisham Adult Education service described the impact of the pension proposals on women and older workers.

The atmosphere of the day was tremendous as speaker after speaker re-iterated the view that we all share - we will not accept this.

Earlier in the day, Unison support staff at my college told us that they should have been out on strike alongside us - next time they must be there, along with all the other public sector unions.

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In The Socialist 6 July 2011:


30th June strike and after

What next to defeat the cuts?

Next time - strike together...

24-hour public sector general strike as next step to beat the Con-Dems

Standing up to a weak government

Labour - condemned for condemning strike

Solidarity from POA

We can win together

Walkout at Wormwood Scrubs prison

30 June pension strike reports


Socialist Party news and analysis

Leaked memo shows government lied over its homeless policies

Dilnot report: A disservice to disabled and older people

Durham Miners' Gala: Miliband pulls out

Stop the racist and divisive EDL

Time to defend abortion rights... again

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

Southampton council workers strike on same day as teachers, lecturers and civil servants

Birmingham - the fightback begins

Leeds Unison members decisively reject the council's final offer

Fawley refinery construction engineers summarily sacked

Fighting pension cuts and the anti-union laws

Workplace news in brief

Successful NSSN meeting in Coventry


International socialist news and analysis

East Belfast riots: Only united working class action can prevent further attacks

Kazakhstan: Striking oil workers attempt to break news blockade

Sabotage on ship to Gaza


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

All workers: unite to fight for decent jobs

High street job cuts: Jane Norman worker speaks out

Socialist Students meeting prepares for new term

Youth Fight for Jobs: campaign moving forward

Day-Mer festival support for 30 June pensions strike

Pride London


Socialist Party reviews

Review: A Common Treasury

Endgame by Rise Against


Socialist Party

Building the socialist alternative on 30 June

Socialist Party youth meeting: Successful and insightful


 

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