Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1008/27900

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 September 2018

Higher education ballot: vote Yes and strike for pay and equality!

UCU strikers at the University of Nottingham, 27 February 2018, photo Gary Freeman

UCU strikers at the University of Nottingham, 27 February 2018, photo Gary Freeman   (Click to enlarge)

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

The University and College Union (UCU) is in dispute with employers in higher education, something that will not surprise any of our members.

The results of marketisation and cutbacks which have decimated the sector over the last ten years can be seen everywhere in UK universities.

Since 2009, the real- terms value of our pay has fallen by 21% against the Retail Price Index. Our sector has one of the worst gender pay gaps of any equivalent sector in the world at an average of 18.4%.

The use of super-exploitative casual contracts has exploded on our campuses, with over 72,000 workers in higher education employed casually. Excessive workloads are ruining our quality of life with higher education staff working an average of two days a week above our contracted hours, completely free. This is the reality of UK universities for workers.

That's why UCU and other campus unions have demanded a pay increase of 7.5% and action to tackle casualisation, the gender pay gap and excessive workloads.

However, in a show of complete intransigence, the University and College Employers Association has refused to improve its below inflation pay offer of 2%, or to take any action at all to address other issues.

The ballot opened on 30 August and will run until 19 October. It's vitally important that we secure a huge vote for action - not only to smash the Tory anti-union laws and secure the 50% turnout needed but also to signal to the employers that we will not allow any more attacks on our pay, terms and conditions.

Earlier this year the fantastic pensions struggle showed the power we can have when we organise and strike together - we beat the employers' threats to scrap our defined benefit pensions.

That strike showed how much anger there is on campus at our working conditions, with even casualised workers with little hope of ever receiving a pension joining the strike in huge numbers.

This strike could be even bigger. This time workers in 167 institutions could be out on the pickets and Unison, which represents non-academic staff, is also balloting for strike action.

But the pensions dispute also showed weaknesses in our union. Our conference this year was shut down by staff walkouts orchestrated by general secretary Sally Hunt.

At our recall conference on 18 October, delegates will debate a motion of no confidence in Hunt, and she must defend her record and conduct.

However, we know from experience that fighting to defend our terms and conditions goes hand in hand with the fight for a democratic, campaigning union.

The priority for members must be to ensure the best possible ballot result and to begin to build for strike action on campus now.

The university sector currently holds cash reserves of 44.27 billion - roughly double the GDP of Iceland. The employers can afford to pay us decent wages and treat us like human beings.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 September 2018:


What we think

Unions must lead in fight to kick Tories out

Labour: Blairite wreckers must be given the boot

Theresa May's 'Chequers deal' mauled by Johnson and EU: fight for a socialist Brexit!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight racism, fight capitalism!

Legal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

Birmingham Socialist sales success

Obituary: Stan Herschel


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tory and Blairite racist policy is behind Windrush fatality

Self-harm soars among young: fight the mental health crisis

Them & Us

Capitalism in crisis: news in brief

What we heard


PCS union

PCS union: build the fight for a pay rise and against austerity - re-elect Chris Baugh

DWP: PCS union builds fightback on pay

PCS members in Land Registry demand 6% pay rise


International socialist news and analysis

Germany: violent attacks in Chemnitz - how can the far right be stopped?


Workplace news and analysis

Shop workers hungry for 10 an hour now and an end to zero-hour contracts

Guards continue fight against driver-only operation following Merseyrail victory

Higher education ballot: vote Yes and strike for pay and equality!

Housing workers walkout forces improved pay deal

Liebherr Sunderland strike continues


Opinion

A day in the life of a carer: "I am having trouble feeding my children on my wages"

The Socialist inbox

GDPR data laws: Punishing workers for human mistakes


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 September 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

UCU:

triangleLeicester UCU fights redundancies

triangleUniversity pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

triangleCongress shut down by staff walkouts

triangleUCU conference: Build the union, build the struggles!

triangleServices disappearing from Harrogate

Strike:

triangleYork health workers say no to privatisation

triangleStrikers ready to up the ante over rail safety

triangleHow Irish strikers fought apartheid - and establishment anti-apartheid leadership

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Pay:

triangleLiverpool airport workers demand decent pay

triangleCardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Higher Education:

triangleStudents unite and fight - free education now!

triangleLiverpool Uni staff set to fight 220 job losses

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/9/18

Black

London Socialist Party meetings for Black History Month

19/9/18

RMT

Strikers ready to up the ante over rail safety

19/9/18

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Socialist Party opposes racist EDL

19/9/18

Newcastle

Hundreds of Newcastle United fans attend Mike Ashley Out meeting

19/9/18

Leicester

Socialists and campaigners protest Leicester NHS cuts

19/9/18

Liverpool

March to save threatened Liverpool Women's Hospital

19/9/18

The Socialist

Join our Socialist sales drive for issue 1011

19/9/18

Liverpool

Liverpool airport workers demand decent pay

19/9/18

York

York health workers say no to privatisation

19/9/18

Birmingham

Birmingham home carers' protest demo

19/9/18

UCU

University pay ballot: vote yes for strike action!

19/9/18

Hull

Socialist Students campaigns at Hull freshers fair

19/9/18

Lewisham

Lewisham: binning the rates rise

19/9/18

Leicester

Leicester UCU fights redundancies

14/9/18

Prisons

POA walkout over government failure to make prisons safe

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999