Universities

Workers' Liberty students

Student activists in Workers' Liberty argue for working class socialist ideas and campaign on issues like freedom of movement, anti-racism, workers' rights, international solidarity and free movement. More about us and our meetings see our Facebook events page or our instagram. Workers' Liberty Student meetings Sheffield Uni/Hallam meetings Meet weekly, Wednesdays at 6pm, in the University Arms, 197 Brook Hill, Broomhall, Sheffield S3 7HG. (From 5pm in the University Arms, weekly organising meetings of the student solidarity group (strike support work), all welcome). Leeds Uni/Conservatoire...

Women's fightback: Tackling sexual violence on campus

Sexual violence is endemic in the UK’s university and college workplaces and employers must do more to tackle it, according to a report by the University and College Union (UCU). The report found that over the past five years: • 12% of women and 5% of men had directly experienced workplace sexual violence • 52% of those who directly experienced sexual violence did not disclose or report it to their employer • 70% of those who directly experienced sexual violence experienced it as an ongoing pattern of behaviour rather than a one-off incident • Staff on non-permanent contracts were 1.3 times...

University ballots close 14 January

Re-ballots on industrial action in 42 universities which just missed the 50% turnout threshold imposed by Tory law will close on 14 January. They could bring many more universities into strikes alongside the 58 which struck on 1-3 December over pay and conditions, over pensions, or both. Action Short of Strike is continuing in 64 universities. As yet it does not include a marking boycott. At many universities, the start of term in January is dominated by exams rather than classes.

UCU dispute: build the next stages

With terms drawing to a close in mid-December, university campuses are becoming much quieter places, and will remain so until early-mid January. Whilst taking much-needed respite following the end of a busy term and kicking off industrial action, University and College Union (UCU) activists and supporters now have ideal opportunities to build our actions into next term. There are five clear things activists should focus on: recruiting to the union; mobilising members to take part in “action short of a strike” (ASOS) and join next term’s pickets; getting more branches out; building solidarity...

Goldsmiths sets plans for January

With one week remaining of the three weeks of strike at Goldsmiths University of London (23 November to 13 December), the local branch of the University and College Union (UCU) is planning an escalation of its dispute against management’s threatened 52 job cuts, part of an extensive “fire and rehire” plan, alongside radical restructuring at the college which will see further cuts. Already the branch has requested the national union apply an academic boycott on Goldsmiths. The national union will back up the local dispute by asking for a range of actions which might include asking external...

Strong student backing for university strikes

University staff walked out for three days on 1-3 December as national disputes kicked off over pensions, pay and conditions. Fifty-eight universities are taking action: some over proposed cuts to the USS pension scheme, some over the national claim on pay, workload, equalities and casualisation, and some in both disputes. The cuts to pensions would see a typical member facing a thirty-six per cent cut to guaranteed pension provision, while pay has fallen by 20% in real terms over the past twelve years thanks to below-inflation pay rises. Many casualised staff shared stories of precarious...

Protesters silenced, not Stock

Academic freedom is a specific principle relating to the sphere of academia and the university setting. It is the right to research and teach without political or commercial interference and institutional censorship. Despite Jack McDonough (Solidarity 615), I’d say Kathleen Stock’s academic freedom has not been compromised. Since Kathleen Stock’s resignation, she has positioned herself as a victim of a university-rife “cancel culture” and she has tarnished student protesters as medieval witch-hunters. It is the voices of the student protesters that have been silenced, not Stock’s. What were...

Goldsmiths union calls for boycott to back strike

A week into three weeks of strike action at Goldsmiths University of London (23 November to 13 December), the local branch of the University and College Union (UCU) is now looking at ways to escalate and diversify the dispute. For example, the branch plans to request the national union applies an academic boycott on Goldsmiths. If agreed, the national union will back up the local dispute, now that it is facing management intransigence, by asking for external academics to avoid contact with the university in a smaller or larger range of ways. That could include: not speaking and lecturing at...

University strikes are launchpad for January

In 58 University and College Union (UCU) branches across the UK, strikes kick off on Wednesday 1 December for an initial period of three days, to 3 December. From 1 December onwards, indefinitely, UCU members in those branches and others where they won ballot mandates for it will also be doing “action short of strikes” (ASOS). Detailed info here The disputes have been called over a range of issues, split into two industrial disputes: cuts to the USS pension scheme, and the Four Fights (over falling pay, increasing casualisation and workload, and worsening campus inequality). In Higher...

AWL bulletin for the UCU strikes, 1-3 December 2021

AWL Higher Education workers fraction have produced this bulletin for the UCU strikes on 1-3 December 2021. Please download and read - and distribute if you agree! Let us know what you think - email awl@workersliberty.org. We have members in UCU and Unison and hold regular meetings to discuss building a democratic, fighting rank and file across campus unions.

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