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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2016

Historic joint further education strike

Sam Morecroft, Sheffield UCU (personal capacity)

On the 24 February, lecturer's union UCU and Unison will take joint strike action across England in the further education sector for the first time.

This is a huge step and is to be welcomed, particularly in a sector where pay, terms and conditions have been savaged in recent years. Unison joining UCU to take industrial action can potentially provide a huge boost to our members in further education.

The unions' pay claim, which amounts to just 1 an hour extra for further education workers, has been rejected by the employers. Union members have been balloted for action and voted overwhelmingly in favour, with 74% voting to take action. That's a fantastic indication of the willingness of further education workers to struggle in the face of attacks.

But we need to be clear that one day of action alone is unlikely to force the employers to agree to the pay claim. It's great that Unison and UCU will be taking action together, but what is needed now is a serious plan of escalating action, to show the employers that workers are prepared to struggle and will carry out a serious programme of action.

There cannot and should not be any retreat from the dispute, as has happened all too often in the past, when the leaderships of both unions have shied away from escalating disputes.

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In The Socialist 17 February 2016:


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Doctors' strike 10th February - photos and reports

Rally to defend jobs in Northern Ireland: "We won't sit on the sidelines"

Library workers prepare to escalate strike action

Historic joint further education strike

Public meetings show readiness of workers to fight back

Workplace news in brief


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London lobbies against cuts to jobs and services


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