The Socialist

The Socialist 21 February 2018

We can save our NHS

The Socialist issue 983

Chatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

Tories raid 1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act

Blairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Facebook sides with state repression - reinstate the Tamil Solidarity page

Like rats from a sinking Ukip


Usdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Newham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together


Northern Ireland talks process paralysed


How can students and young people fight the Tories?

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!


South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail


Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

Save Salford nurseries!

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

Nottingham hospital black alert

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

Outrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case


German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

The Socialist inbox

 
 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/983/26914

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 21 February 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

UCU strikers march in defence of pensions in 2011, photo Hugh Caffrey

UCU strikers march in defence of pensions in 2011, photo Hugh Caffrey   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Morecroft, Sheffield UCU anti-casualisation officer (personal capacity)

Just three days before UCU members in 61 universities begin a sustained programme of strike action, Essex vice-chancellor Anthony Forster became the eighth to speak out against devastating cuts to our pensions.

Writing in the Times Higher Education on Monday, he said: "University employers must... commit to increasing employer contributions" in order to safeguard pensions.

Plans to scrap defined benefit pensions will not only leave university staff thousands of pounds a year worse off in retirement but could also make the scheme unsustainable. Many others have called for more talks.

What's more it's becoming increasingly clear that Oxford and Cambridge are the key institutions that are pushing forward these proposals, and that other universities are less keen on attempting such a huge attack on our members.

They are right to be worried. The University and College Union (UCU) nationally has recruited over 2,000 new members. My own branch has grown by over 12% since 1 December, and even heads of department are threatening to strike.

That shows how much anger the proposed pension cuts have caused, but also how enthusiastically university staff have reacted to UCU showing leadership and determination to fight to defend our pensions.

We've been boosted by student support. Strikes will disrupt student education, and they are rightly angry about that given the sky high fees they pay. But up and down the country students are clear that they blame the employers and the effects of marketisation on higher education - not hard working teachers, lecturers and administrators that make our universities function.

At Sheffield Socialist Students was instrumental in setting up a staff student solidarity group which has put pressure on management to speak out against the cuts. Where groups like this do not exist we must work to create them during the dispute.

It's been heartening to see a Labour MP, Lucy Powell, cancel a lecture at the University of Manchester rather than cross a picket line. But we need to see more support from Labour and particularly the leadership. A few years ago former Labour MP Tristram Hunt crossed a UCU picket line to deliver a lecture on Marx and Engels! We need to see that under Jeremy Corbyn Labour is different.

Corbyn's pledge to scrap tuition fees won huge support in the general election - he should go further and tie supporting our strike to reversing marketisation and privatisation and promising to fully publicly fund the sector, including grants for students and decent pay and pensions for university workers.

In UCU we're ready for the fight of our lives. Our employers are publicly divided and this dispute is winnable. We ask for the full support of the labour movement as we prepare to take the first ever national strike action since the new anti-union laws were introduced.


In this issue


Socialist Party news and analysis

Chatsworth ward victory shows we can save our NHS

Tories raid 1bn from NHS facilities budget - unions must act

Blairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Facebook sides with state repression - reinstate the Tamil Solidarity page

Like rats from a sinking Ukip


Workplace news and analysis

Usdaw victory - Socialist Party member Amy Murphy wins presidential election

Bosses divided - university pension strikes can win!

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

Newham academies strike continues with three schools to strike together


What we think

Northern Ireland talks process paralysed


Socialist Students

How can students and young people fight the Tories?

Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Ramaphosa is a safe pair of hands for capitalism

Russia: Ali Feruz, journalist and human rights activist, freed from jail


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

Northants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

Victory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

Save Salford nurseries!

Labour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

May Day, May Day! Celebrate solidarity!

Bradford protests against kids' service cuts

Successful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

Tremendous determination on show at West Midlands conference

Lively discussion at East Midlands Socialist Party conference

Nottingham hospital black alert

Cardiff Refugee Rights gig success

Outrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case


Opinion

German engineering strike puts shorter week on agenda - but could have won more

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 February 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook