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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 December 2020

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

Brighton UCU pickett line Photo: Glenn Kelly

Brighton UCU pickett line Photo: Glenn Kelly   (Click to enlarge)

Phoebe Rimmer, Brighton University Socialist Students

Brighton University's decision to make a third of its IT department redundant during a time when it is so desperately needed, is emblematic of a greater problem - turning universities into businesses.

It is a clear attempt at cutting costs at the expense of providing quality education. Where lectures have moved online in light of the pandemic, the IT team is crucial in ensuring that this can be achieved to as high of a standard as possible, given the circumstances.

How can we expect competent levels of teaching, and communication and resources to be available, without the work of the IT staff who supplement them?

Online teaching is massively important at this time, as it protects our vulnerable students and staff.

We cannot afford to go back to face-to-face teaching when the university cannot provide a safe environment, such as social distancing measures and proper hygiene procedures.

We have seen how universities are a hotspot for the virus, so can we really afford to open up Brighton campuses to risk it all? Are the lives of students and staff worth less than the profits made?

Ultimately we must put an end to the marketisation of education. Under this system, universities will forever be competing with one another like private businesses.

We stand with the University and College Union and their decision to strike on 2 December, and we call on Brighton Students' Union to do so too.

The redundancies will affect our education, our future, and we must unite against Brighton University's financially driven decisions.

University staff are essential in our education, students are not customers, and access to free education is a right.

Staff and students alike should not be exploited to uphold a broken system. Not now, not ever.

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Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 2 December 2020:


What we think

Spending Review. Unions must resist return to austerity


Spending Review

What will the spending review mean for me?

Napo kickstarts fight against pay freeze


News

Better for billionaires. Worse for workers

Arcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

Scotland: Campaign wins end to period poverty

NHS: Underfunded, understaffed, underpaid

News in brief


Devolution

Where is devolution heading?


Workplace News

Don't let the festive season be one of misery for retail workers

Equity union conference calls for radical change - now lead a fight!

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

East London teachers strike in support of victimised union rep

Heathrow workers strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Hackney: Stop plan to halve school support staff!

Pay freeze protest Homerton Hospital

Unison general secretary ballot closes


Environment

'Building back greener' - yet more Tory greenwash


International News

Conflict in Ethiopia: ethnic-linguistic divisions are the historical product of capitalist inequality


Marxism

Review: Friedrich Engels - Condition of the working class in England


Campaigns

Socialism 2020 feedback

Wales TUSC plans to mount an electoral challenge

Rent strikers' victory in Manchester student halls

Labour meeting lets MP get away with 'Spycops' abstention

Selling the Socialist

Fighting fund target smashed!


Reader's opinion

TV: The Social Dilemma

Fast fashion, big profits, low pay

Diego Maradona - Working-class rebel, football genius

Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

UCU:

triangleUniversity teaching moves online in England

triangleFurther education workers win pay rise in Wales

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleUniversity workers ballot for action against in-person teaching

Strike:

triangleHow militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act

triangleGMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

triangleStrike back for free education

triangleOnline workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses

Solidarity:

triangleSolidarity meeting with Mohamud Hassan

triangleProtests in solidarity with Indian farmers

triangleSolidarity with Manchester students - fight for democratic control of campus safety

Pay:

triangleLondon bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

triangleHMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Covid:

triangleGarment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

Brighton:

triangleBrighton & Hove Socialist Party: The justice system in a socialist society

University:

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

Students:

triangleTories target universities in free speech shakedown

Education:

triangleJohnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Universities:

triangleWhy you should come to Socialist Students online conference

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