Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/428/5031
The Socialist 22 February 2006 |
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University staff vote to strike over pay
UNIVERSITY LECTURERS have voted by a big majority, on a high turnout
for the sector, to go on strike over pay. An even bigger majority backed
action short of a strike.
Pete Dickenson, Brunel AUT steering committee, personal capacity
The anger reflected in this ballot result shows that we have had
enough of the years of empty promises from the employers to give us the
pay we deserve. Although lecturers' productivity has more then trebled
over the past fifteen years, as student numbers have shot up with no
increase in staffing, pay 'rises' have been near or below inflation for
The management has been relying on the goodwill of lecturers to get
away with this exploitation, but we are now sending a clear signal that
the goodwill has run out. Enough is enough!
It is important that the union builds support for the strike action,
not least because it will involve members from both the pre and post-92
universities, members of AUT and NATFHE, who will shortly be united into
a single union - this is a clear test for the new united body.
Past action has concentrated on action short of a strike, (eg marking
boycotts) but this has often proved to have had limited impact, because
management could pick members off one by one.
This time the emphasis should be on building support for strike
action which should be escalated if necessary if the vice-chancellors,
the university bosses, remain intransigent. Another priority, which will
be crucial in the campaign, is to win the support of students, whose
future depends on having a high-quality education, itself reliant on
decently paid and motivated staff.
The ballot details are: 64% in favour of strike action on a 51%
turnout. NATFHE members also voted by larger margins on a similar
turnout to take action.