Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 31 January, 2018 - 1:29 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens, Michael Elms, Peggy Carter and Ollie Moore

Lecturers strike over pensions

Staff at 61 universities have voted to strike in a dispute over pensions, beginning on 22 February.

University bosses want to remove guaranteed pension provision, in favour of a “defined contribution” scheme where the eventual pay-out is dependent on performance of investments. Staff face losing up to £200,000 over the course of retirement.

End outsourcing at UoL!

Submitted by SJW on 16 January, 2018 - 8:07
Xmas cards

Security workers and receptionists at the University of London (UoL) will strike on 25 January over broken pay rise promises, with a protest in the evening in support of outsourced worker demands to be brought in house. 

IWGB union organiser and press officer Emiliano Mellino spoke to Solidarity.

The campaign is going well. On every single protest we have there are more people — both workers and supporters.

The Foundation Day protest on 21 November had easily 500 people, probably the biggest protest we′ve done at Senate House.

Tory hypocrisy on free speech

Submitted by SJW on 16 January, 2018 - 7:11 Author: Ben Tausz
Berkeley Free Speech

On 26 December the Universities Minister Jo Johnson announced plans that he claims will protect free speech on campuses, including potential fines on universities.

This is the conservative right’s latest broadside against student movement “no platform” policies.

We disagree with the ways “no platform” policies have been applied by some on the left. A legitimate self-defence tactic against organised, physically violent groups such as fascists has, in some cases, been overstretched in ways that are both futile and undemocratic.

Bath VC forced to resign over pay

Submitted by Matthew on 10 January, 2018 - 10:11

In November 2017, Dame Glynis Breakwell, the Vice-Chancellor of Bath University, stepped down after a campaign by campus workers and students made her vast pay packet (£468,000 per annum) into a national scandal. Sol Gamsu of Bath University UCU describes this victory in the fight against inequality and management arrogance in education.

NCAFC Recommits to 2018 NSS Boycott

Submitted by SJW on 12 December, 2017 - 3:26 Author: Ruaridh Anderson

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) held its winter conference in Liverpool last weekend, which saw a lively debate on whether or not to recommit to the 2018 NSS Boycott. After scrutinising the tactic and its potential effectiveness - particularly in relation to the upcoming UCU marking boycott - the conference voted overwhelmingly to continue the boycott into 2018 as part of building a movement of united students and workers against the marketisation of higher education.

Free education now!

Submitted by Gemma_S on 19 November, 2017 - 1:57 Author: By Ruairidh Anderson
Students marching with banners that read "free education - tax the rich"

As many as 7,000 students marched through London on Wednesday 15 November to demand “Free Education now — tax the rich”.

The protest was organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and supported by Momentum, RMT, Unite, NUS Scotland and student unions across the country. Workers’ Liberty student activists were centrally involved in organising and leading the demonstration, along with other comrades in NCAFC.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 13:13

On Wednesday the 11, October Jeremy Hunt told the House of Commons that the 1% pay cap will be lifted for NHS staff. After the government buckled under pressure and lifted the public sector pay cap for police and prison officers, the government had shown it was weak and it was only a matter of time before it was forced into lifting the cap for other workers.

Tories keep student fees high

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 10:31 Author: Gerry Bates

The Tory government has backed off from its talk of reducing university tuition fees to £7,500, or of trying to enforce a range of fees differing markedly between universities.

The only retreats it will make are to increase the income threshold above which ex-students start repaying from £21,000 a year from £25,000 from April 2018, and to leave the maximum fee from September 2018 at £9,250, rather than raising it to £9,500 as previously planned.