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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 July 2009

Cardiff cuts protest

Around 250 tutors, students and community members protested outside Cardiff's University Council meeting on 27 July, against plans to cut 140 jobs from the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Ross Saunders

Up to 250 courses attended by thousands of adults across South Wales could be axed as a result.

Workers and students were angry that they were being made to pay for the banking bailout. One said: "They told us in the boom that public sector workers couldn't have decent pay rises because they had job security instead, now the recession is taking that off us too!"

The Universities and College Employers Authority (UCEA) intends to force through the cuts, rubber-stamped by the university's governing body. This avoids addressing the discrimination it has allowed for years, against the mostly female part-time tutors on temporary contracts. Some protesters contrasted this treatment with the millions of pounds Cardiff University makes every year and the handsome 234,000 salary the Vice-Chancellor, David Grant, receives.

Jenny Randerson and Jenny Wilmott, respectively the current Liberal Democrat AM and MP for the area, both addressed the rally but had little comfort for the protesters. They urged them to continue to engage "constructively" with the university authorities and hoped, they said, that some of the courses could be saved.

Public-sector workers and the people who depend on their services need more than mealy-mouthed words of regret and hand-wringing from politicians and parties who support the attacks on public services. Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat economic spokesperson, has publicly advocated increasing tuition fees to 5,000 a year.

The main parties are united in their agreement that the working class will have to pay for the economic crisis, but workers like those protesting in Cardiff this week will answer these arguments by moving to found their own party to fight for their interests.

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In The Socialist 29 July 2009:

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War and occupation

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Socialist Party Marxist analysis

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