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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 May 2009

Fight to save higher education

The University and College Union, UCU, is currently balloting its members in higher education on pay and job security. This follows a sub-inflation pay offer from employers' organisation UCEA and widespread threats of cuts and redundancies in the sector.

Thomas House, Warwick University UCU executive, personal capacity

Action is sorely needed in higher education - the employers are still angry following the final year of the last pay settlement, which was linked to inflation, representing 5% at the time.

At present, the financial crisis is causing a significant drop in universities' incomes, leading to threats of department closures and redundancies.

In particular, these threats are being used by employers during pay negotiations, with the implication that any significant pay increase will simply lead to more job losses. Tory think tank Policy Exchange has even floated the idea of a whole university going bankrupt.

To respond to this onslaught, Socialist Party members in UCU will be supporting a Yes vote for action. Ultimately, national action is needed to secure adequate public funding for higher education.

Shamefully, the National Union of Students has expressed "dismay" at this "strike threat" - New Labour and other right-wing elements in the student movement are therefore happy to see students' education attacked. Without a fightback involving both staff and students, both teaching and research will suffer.

In addition to unity between students and staff, we need wider action from the trade union movement to defend jobs during the recession. Capitalism has found trillions to bail out finance, while education and other services go to the wall. Only a socialist programme for society can provide a long term future for our universities.

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In The Socialist 6 May 2009:

Visteon workers show: Action gets results

Visteon UK struggle: the story of what happened

Visteon: Editorial comment


Defend victimised trade unionist

Rob Williams sacked by brutal bosses

Editorial: Decisive action needed against victimisations

Defend victimised trade unionist

Defending a shop steward, in spite of the anti-union laws

National Shop Stewards Network national conference


No 2 EU - Yes to Democracy

How can the BNP really be defeated?

Support for No2EU at Usdaw conference


Socialist Party news and analysis

Swine flu: The real issues behind the headlines


May Day

Workers look for alternative to bankrupt capitalism

Widespread protests in Pakistan

Thousands demonstrate in Hong Kong

Bigger May Day demos in Sweden this year

CWI Germany calls for a one-day strike


International socialist news and analysis

ANC returned to power in election landslide


Socialist Party campaigns

Save Lewisham Bridge Defend education

Youth fight for jobs: Launch conference

Youth fight for jobs website

Fight to save higher education

Save linguistics at Sussex!

Keep fighting for further education funding


 

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