Yesterday, UCU members in 69 pre-1992 universities returned an overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action to fight off attacks on their pensions. As students, we offer our full solidarity to staff.
The attacks – which the employers are justifying using distorted analyses and dodgy statistics – threaten to wipe as much as 27% off some members’ pensions and to deny retiring university workers financial security after a career of service to education. We have written more about the nature of the attacks, the employers’ distortions, and the potential for damage to our education here.
The turnout was higher than any ballot since the UCU formation 8 years ago. 78% voted to authorise strikes, and 87% for action short of a strike, potentially to include a boycott of setting and marking students’ assessments. The UCU has given the employers a final opportunity this week to withdraw their threats. If there are not serious improvements, union representatives will meet Friday to decide the precise programme of action.
If workers are forced to take action, NCAFC will help provide materials for student support campaigns. For now, we urge you to start organising on your campus – we have written previously about action you could take locally.