Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/604/8444
Fighting university cuts
On 27 November, hundreds of staff at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) demonstrated their opposition to 127 job losses and their zero confidence in Vice-Chancellor Brooks.
On 16 November, management announced 127 initial job losses, focussing on support staff. Staff have seen a series of chaotic structural reviews which management have imposed and not consulted the staff about. Staff have no confidence in a leadership which thinks you can improve the "student experience" by cutting jobs!
Unison general meetings unanimously backed a fight against compulsory redundancies, up to and including industrial action We also agreed to build a No Confidence petition, and make it clear to the University that our members' commitment deserves recognition.
Within a week, we've managed to pick up over 4,800 signatures. The lobby of the board of governors on 27 November was brilliant. Staff came from every section of the workforce, from cleaners and security right through to academic staff.
We now need to consult with our members about moving towards industrial action. We are also planning a public meeting before the end of term.
Email messages of support and solidarity to firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Facebook group: MMU Unison against education cuts. For more info see Unison's branch website www.mmuunison.blogspot.com.
An MMU Unison member
On 27 November Unite and Unison, representing support staff at Bangor University, called a protest demonstration. This was against the proposal by senior management to cut support staff pensions whilst increasing the university's contributions to their own pension scheme.
Over 300 staff and students attended the protest. It was announced that further negotiations were to take place and that management had backed down on one attack. The union reps said they were committed to pushing for retention of the final salary pension scheme. They also stated that this was only the first step and that more protests and possibly industrial action may be necessary to force management back.
Bangor Socialist Party helped build support for the protest. Our bilingual placards said: "VC gets pay rise. Staff get pension cuts," and, "No Fees, No Cuts, No Closures. Fully Fund University Education!"
Sean Dalton, Bangor Socialist Party
In The Socialist 2 December 2009:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Youth fight for jobs
War and occupation
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Marxist analysis: history