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From: The Socialist issue 1030, 20 February 2019: Tories out, Blairites out

Search site for keywords: Cardiff - Cuts - Union - University - Trade union - UCU - Higher Education - College - Socialist Students

Cardiff Uni: urgent action needed to stop job cuts

Cardiff University, photo by Jeremy Segrott/CC

Cardiff University, photo by Jeremy Segrott/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Cardiff UCU member

Cardiff University plans to cut 380 posts over five years.

The University and College Union (UCU) is combining its national ballot over workload, casualisation and pay with a simultaneous ballot over the threat of local compulsory redundancies to hit the Tories 50% turnout threshold.

Staffing cuts won't just affect those losing work. A 2016 survey by the union found that university staff were already working on average almost 2-days unpaid overtime a week.

The university has a budget deficit of more than 20 million. But cuts aren't aimed the Vice Chancellor's 256,000 salary, or his five-figure 'performance bonus'.

The university favours new buildings over staff. It's undergoing a 600 million campus development, and in 2016 borrowed 300 million - the largest public bond in UK higher education history - at 9 million interest a year.

This time last year, the union was preparing to strike over pensions - a strike which led to serious employer concessions. At Cardiff University, Socialist Students and the trade union council spoke at picket lines and rallies.

The trade union council arranged for the strikers to speak at other union branches where they won donations to our strike fund. UCU affiliated to the local trade union council and led the May Day march.

These impressive strikes showed the potential power of organised collective action, and this year, the workers are better prepared for what's ahead.

Support by students, the wider trade union movement and militant rank-and-file action will send a clear message to Cardiff University management.

Staff will not tolerate further assaults on their working conditions, and we must also use the union elections to elect a fighting left leadership to coordinate our fightback.

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