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Fighting cuts at Northampton Uni
Professor Dave Hill, University and College union (UCU) member and supporter of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, reports for The Socialist on the sackings of two history lecturers at the University of Northampton:
The university management has sacked two history lecturers as part of a cost-cutting exercise. The UCU branch ballot on industrial action short of a strike has just been carried, with 81% of votes in favour .
These cuts are likely to be the thin end of the wedge. If the university management gets away with it, other compulsory redundancies will shortly follow. They have told staff that the pay bill is too high. If management goes ahead with the sacking, strike action is highly likely.
This is part of a nationwide attack on the jobs and conditions of university workers. Already we are seeing strikes and industrial action at universities such as Sussex, in response to attacks on pension rights, and Nottingham Trent because management has derecognised the union.
In a recent research assessment exercise, universities needed to maximise their staff publications and research in order to get government funding. However it looks as though university managements will start trying to sack lecturers now that the research exercise is over.
We need to maximise union membership, make alliances across all the campus unions - academics, administrators and manual workers - to support each other in fighting back.
Amalia Loizidou, University of Northampton Socialist Students adds: "At our last meeting, we decided to build support for the UCU's actions against the sackings and offer our solidarity to any fight that defends workers' rights in our university."
In The Socialist 29 October 2008:
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