Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/965/26236
From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017
University of Leeds workers walk out over terms and conditions attacks
Part of the crowd at the UCU strike rally in Leeds City Centre, 25.5.16, photo Iain Dalton (Click to enlarge)
University of Leeds UCU strike committee
Staff at the University of Leeds are taking industrial action in a dispute the University and College Union (UCU) has declared to be of national importance.
UCU members including lecturers and researchers will strike for three days on 11, 12, and 13 October, over threatened changes to their terms and conditions.
The university management wants to make provision to dismiss members of staff on a catch-all basis, known as 'some other substantial reason.' Along with the removal of legally and medically qualified chairs from certain appeals panel, this has left UCU members feeling they have no choice but to take action.
UCU fears staff could be sacked in response to third-party pressure on the university. So, for example, a polluting corporation might take exception to a scientist's work on air quality, and she could find her job under threat. The union says the safeguards the management have offered are not enough.
"The point here is not just that our jobs are becoming more insecure, which is bad enough, it's that the whole nature of universities, as places where people can investigate and ask questions freely without fear of victimisation, is being challenged by the university's management," says Simon Hewitt, UCU rep at the university.
"Capitalism wants universities that supply research and development to companies at tax-payers' expense, and so improve profitability. It does not want universities that ask critical questions about the way the world works. As a trade unionist who thinks that research and education are central to a decent society, I see things very differently."
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In The Socialist 4 October 2017:
Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide
Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia
Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events
What we think
The Tories must be driven out
Socialist Party workplace news
Royal Mail workers set for national strike action
Unison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action
RMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads
University of Leeds workers walk out
ThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger
Revolutionary socialist Che Guevara 50 years on
Labour Party conference
Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed
Socialist Party news and analysis
Capitalism and human progress
Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers
Bending the knee v Trump
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Tories wreck our NHS
£11,000 raised in three weeks for fighting fund
Why I joined: I wanted to change things
Chatsworth ward campaign replies to Tory MP's intervention
Surveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?
Leeds Socialist Students marks 'International Safe Abortion Day'
Protest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker
The Socialist 4 October 2017 |
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