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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2021

Uni support staff strike ballot

Unison pay strike, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Unison pay strike, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Mary Finch, Unison uni rep (personal capacity)

Higher education has been under attack for over a decade. The trebling of tuition fees in 2010 has been followed by funding cuts and job losses, attacks on pensions, and real-terms pay cuts for education workers.

Following three days of strike action in December by the University and College Union on pensions, pay and conditions, university support staff in Unison are being balloted for strike action as well. The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) is offering a measly 1.5% pay increase this year, rising to up to 3.6% for the lowest paid.

This is a real-terms pay cut for the vast majority of workers. After ten years of below-inflation pay rises, and a pay freeze last year during the pandemic, we have had enough. Unison members are determined to take action on pay, rising workloads and precarious employment.

There have been rumours for several months of plans to cut tuition fees and pass on the bill to universities. Without guaranteed money from Westminster to make up the funding shortfall, this will mean even more cuts.

This ballot is coming at a critical moment for the trade unions. Elsewhere in Unison, local government workers are being balloted for strike action and NHS workers are voting in another consultative ballot.

The Socialist Party sends full support to all Unison workers balloting for strike action. A united battle of public sector workers could win a real pay rise, dramatically improve working conditions, and defeat new attacks from the weak and divided Tories.

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In The Socialist 15 December 2021:


News

Tory cuts and privatisation leave NHS in crisis

Unions must fight for Covid workplace safety

Councils to make workers pay, again

Assange faces extradition

Global inequality grows


What we think

Split Tories and spineless Starmer


End of the USSR

The legacy of the collapse of Stalinism


LGBTQ+ rights

Stonewall attacked by the establishment


Workplace news

Sharon Graham: 100 days as Unite general secretary - the challenges ahead

Fighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

Support tube workers fighting back

South Wales Stagecoach victory

Yorkshire Stagecoach strikers confidence growing

Welcome support for striking Scunthorpe scaffolders

Guards fight for their grades on CrossCountry rail

London colleges victory

Coventry bin workers strike against Christmas holiday cut

Sheffield couriers escalate and spread action

Uni support staff strike ballot

Tesco strike action latest

Barts health workers to strike for a pay rise

Worksop Wincanton depot strike builds


International news

Sudan: End military rule and poverty


Campaigns

Nana's eviction: Community vs heartless Labour council

London solidarity protest: Rio Tinto out of Serbia

Save St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

Why we joined the Socialist Party

Selling the Socialist - Waltham Cross and Boscombe

Posters, car boot and socialist guided tour - some ideas to raise funds


Readers' opinion

TV review: Vaccine Wars: The Truth About Pfizer


Quiz 2021

Christmas quiz of 2021


 

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Related links:

Strike:

triangleNewham college strike solid against bully privatisers

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCoventry bin strike continues

triangleSomers Forge workers continue pay strike

triangleScunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action

Pay:

triangleRoyal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

triangleBus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

triangleS Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"

triangleSheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

Workers:

triangleNews in brief

triangleEmployers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

triangleTory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

Unison:

triangleCarmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

triangleFighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

University:

triangleSouthampton student vote for online exams must be accepted

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