Members of the University and Colleges Union have voted overwhelmingly to strike on a whole host of issues, including low pay, precarity and long-running attacks on the pensions of university staff. They will also be joined by Unison members in some universities on 24 and 25 November in the biggest wave of university strikes in years – and pointing toward the potential to truly shut campuses down until the demands of staff and students are met. Socialist Alternative members active in UCU are building for the most determined action possible, including indefinite strike action in the new year, linked up as widely as possible.
Students can play a key role in supporting the strikes. Our staff’s teaching conditions are inextricably linked to our own learning conditions – it is crucial that we stand side by side with university workers to defend our education from cuts and marketisation. Our staff are facing attacks on their wages, workload, pensions and more. We as students are forced to put up with less and less face to face time with teaching staff, and a student housing crisis. Meanwhile many University Vice Chancellors are currently making £100,000s annually, and our fees go toward impressive new buildings, rather than being invested into providing the best education possible for students.
This is the reality of the Tories’ cuts to university funding, forcing universities to operate more and more like businesses, relying on fees, especially from international students. But the strike wave building up nationally points toward the fact that we do not have to accept this. A coordinated movement of workers and students can win real victories against low pay, rising living costs – and ultimately can bring this weak government down.
Student Socialist Alternative will be actively building the maximum possible student solidarity with the strikes, as well as making links with workers on and off campus to build the widest struggle possible against this system.
How can you support the strikes?
- Don’t go into classes on strike days (24, 25 and 30 November
- Email your staff to let them know you support their decision to strike. Consider asking to speak in class to encourage your classmates to join staff on the picket line
- Demand your students’ union supports the strike. If it doesn’t, get in contact with Student Socialist Alternative and help build a campaign to support staff
- Rebuild a fighting student movement to reclaim our education. Join Student Socialist Alternative!