Student union leaders hide truth about lecturers’ action

LECTURERS IN the NATFHE and AUT unions are engaged in a marking
boycott at universities across the country. They are struggling for the
wage increase that university vice-chancellors said was the main reason
for charging students top-up fees.

Iain Dalton, Huddersfield Socialist Students

Instead lecturers have been offered a pitiful 3% increase whilst the
already over-inflated vice-chancellors’ salaries have increased by 21%.

The NUS nationally supports the lecturers’ action, so why are many
student unions not doing so? Some are even aiding strikebreaking action
by the university vice-chancellors.

This is happening at Huddersfield University, where the president and
executive officers have taken a unilateral stance against the strikes. On
their website it seems as if the pay dispute is not happening and the
lecturers are just taking action to upset students,.

There has been no consultation between the Student Union and the local

The current executive is merely interested in securing good jobs with
business and with the university. The previous president now works in
university management. None of them care about the real issues.

One of the arguments they use is that the marking boycott is damaging
students’ education. But if the lecturers’ unions had students’ full
support it would make the vice-chancellor’s position untenable.

NATFHE and AUT have supported students in the struggles against fees.
They deserve students’ solidarity in this struggle. Low-paid lecturers
are less likely to want to carry on with the ever-increasing workload and
may look for jobs in other sectors. That is surely not in students’

The lecturers have tried at all times to consult the students at
Huddersfield University, unlike the students’ union who failed to inform
students about the strikes in March. It seems they are doing the
vice-chancellor’s bidding against both lecturers and students.

Socialist Students in Huddersfield is proud of our role of supporting
the lecturers and exposing the student union leadership for their
distortion of the truth.

We are campaigning for a fully funded higher education system,
democratically run without the parasitic university vice-chancellors.
Lecturers should get the wages they deserve.

Students have the right to a free and fully funded education, where
higher education is not just a commodity to be bought.

l The university employers’ latest offer is 3.5% a year for three
years, far short of the claim for 23% over three years. NATFHE are
considering calling a joint national demonstration and further industrial