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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2010

Newcastle University - support staff face attacks on jobs and pay

Support staff at Newcastle University face job losses and pay cuts. They are mainly in areas organised by Unison, which has seen a large rise in membership, even without a major recruitment drive by the branch. Many support staff are on less than 16,000, and were recently offered a pathetic 0.25% pay deal. Shockingly, this is not even a pay rise, but merely a one-off payment!

There have also been attempts by management to remove premium payments for working weekends, nights, etc. Security staff are angry that their shift payments have been removed and changed.

At the moment there is a jobs freeze, and many Unison members have been scared into accepting pay cuts by the fear of job losses.

Newcastle Student Union is set to close on 1 November for 9-12 months. All bar and entertainment staff are to be made redundant. Finance workers, porters, and cleaners are at risk. Any staff that do stay on are faced with worse contracts and lower conditions.

Newcastle University Unison branch has decided to support the Newcastle Free Education Network (NFEN), a campaign to unite staff, students, and lecturers opposed to tuition fees, course cuts, and job losses. We are sending university management a clear message that students are opposed to attacks on support staff.

Students also have the backing of workers and the trade union movement in their campaign against tuition fees, course cuts, and job losses.

Ian Pattison, Socialist Students

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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 14 April 2010:

Main parties promise more of the same rotten cuts agenda

Voters face 'slash and burn' policies whoever wins election

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