Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/445/5287
Leicester UCU dispute
Socialist Students receive standing ovation
At Leicester University, Socialist Students members were involved in the setting up of the Campaign for Students' Information, because the Students' Union (SU) executive were campaigning against the lecturers' marking boycott (despite their declared support for the lecturers).
Nick Parker, Leicester Socialist Students
Despite the SU executive stopping us from using the SU print shop, we collected over 400 signatures and got 150 students to sign letters to the Vice Chancellor expressing our disgust at the role he'd played in the dispute. It was difficult to campaign due to the exams, but we even had students out campaigning before and after they went into exams!
We were able to continue our campaign due to the tremendous support we received from our lecturers, who helped with the printing of our leaflets and petitions. Scores of lecturers came up to our stall to show solidarity to our campaign, some joining us during their lunch breaks to help out. One revealed that she would have earned more money as a bus driver, despite having spent years training for her job.
Our lecturers' resolve was hardened by our campaign, which cut across the attacks from the SU executive, who had organised an anti-union demonstration.
Unfortunately, the University and College Union (UCU) negotiating team arbitrarily decided to accept a pay offer from the employers (UCEA) and called off the assessment boycott.
We were invited to attend the UCU general meeting where the pay offer was going to be discussed. We heard from many how they felt betrayed by the union leadership, who had sold them out and ended the boycott without consulting the members.
We received a standing ovation from the members present for our work and we've been invited to join them for a union social, which we'll be attending with delight! We'd like to offer our gratitude for the messages of support we received from students across the country, and in particular to Kes, Marie-Claire and Indhira, whose energy and enthusiasm was tremendous in building this campaign.
In The Socialist 22 June 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party LGBT
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news