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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2020

Building Bangor Socialist Students to fight the campus cuts

Michelle (centre), photo Young Socialists

Michelle (centre), photo Young Socialists   (Click to enlarge)

Michelle Francis, Bangor Socialist students

Since arriving at Bangor University in September I have been busy setting up a Socialist Students society. We now have ten other students in our society and three locals who are interested too.

It has been difficult to make people aware that we exist, due to coronavirus restrictions. And campus bosses have ordered us to take down all of our posters; not that it stops us putting more back up!

Now, Bangor University has announced cuts to staff. University management was trying to sweep these cuts under the carpet by making the documents hard to find. They planned a short consultation period in the hope that students wouldn't have time to react.

But, thanks to all the work from members in Socialist Students, and the hard work from two, especially angry course reps, we have made some progress. The only way we could make all students aware of these cuts was via email, and as the whole system is heavily moderated, we had to be very sneaky.

Students are angry

Through some hard work we have been able to email almost every student at the university with details of the cuts, our demands and a link to a petition. Petitions must be discussed in the student council if they get over 500 votes. We got 500 signatures in under six hours, which shows students are angry!

The student council meeting was an uphill battle due to resistance from the students' union leadership and officers. Although so many students signed in a short space of time to support a vote of no confidence in university management, the students' union decided they didn't want to voice that to management in case they risked their 'special friendship'.

Despite the battle, we managed to get the students' union to agree to demand to "extend the formal consultation period by one month, for the student body to conduct a meaningful consultation". If this isn't done, the students' union resolved to reject the proposals and to support any staff industrial action that may occur.

Hopefully this will give confidence to staff organised in the union UCU, that if they threaten the university management with industrial action they will get support from students.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 4 November 2020:


What we think

Our lives, our jobs - not safe in Tory hands

Corbyn suspended - Time to fight for a new mass workers' party

Socialism 2020: Mass workers' voice needed


Unison

Why the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary


News

A lockdown that doesn't include education?

Spycops inquiry finally opens

Testing is failing - it's a privatised mess

Furloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts


Workplace

Transport for London given funding stop gap

Usdaw needs a fighting leadership

Birmingham NHS porters' 48-hour strike against shift changes

Optare strikers escalate their action


International news

Chile: A defeat for the right!

Poland: Mass protests against abortion ban

US presidential election 2020


Campaigns

Save St Andrews mental health ward

Leeds protesters demand "Buhari must go!"

Building Bangor Socialist Students

Maybe now they will listen - Refund the fees!

Donate now to the Socialism 2020 appeal

Corbyn suspended: Join the fightback, join the socialists


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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