Student representatives offer solidarity for next steps in workers’ campaign for #FairPayInHE

The following letter has been signed by representatives in student unions, NUS and NCAFC, and will soon be sent to the committees in the higher education trade unions that decide industrial action strategy in the current campaign for decent pay for higher education workers.

Comment below, or email pso [at] uclu.org, to add your signature!

 

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Dear UCU Higher Education Committee members,

CC: Unison HE Service Group, Unite HE Sector Committee, EIS-ULA Executive Committee

We are writing as student representatives to offer our solidarity as you consider the next steps in the campaign for fair pay at your HEC meeting this Friday 14 February.

We support your campaign wholeheartedly. We have supported your protests and picket lines, and some of us have occupied our campuses in solidarity. We know that students lose out and education suffers when your members – the people who make our members’ education happen – are underpaid, overworked and treated with disrespect. Moreover, our postgraduate members are among those receiving insulting wages (if any) for their vital teaching work, and students considering working in education are facing an uncertain future. And we remember the solidarity you and your members offered when we marched and occupied against the tuition fees which are now lining the pockets of senior managers and private businesses instead of supporting your members. So we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with education workers, and fight together for an education system that serves the needs of students, workers and society.

We understand that to win on pay will require a strong, disruptive escalation of industrial action. We know that this is a difficult decision for you and your members, as well as affecting students. But we will support your action because we know that to allow unfair treatment of education workers to continue and worsen would do much more damage to all of us in the longer term, and the employers’ intransigence has left no other choice. So we urge you to move forward in the knowledge you can call on us for whatever help your members may need, whether that is fundraising for strike pay, complementary direct action or any other support.

In solidarity,

Ben Towse (UCLU Postgraduate Students’ Officer, NCAFC National Committee)

Rosie Huzzard (NUS NEC, NCAFC NC)

Gordon Maloney (NUS Scotland President)

Shelly Asquith (Students’ Union University of the Arts President, NUS London Chair)

Katie Kokkinou (UCLU Welfare & International Officer, NUS London Committee)

Michael Chessum (University of London Union President, NCAFC London Rep)

Daniel Warham (UCLU Democracy & Communications Officer)

Hannah Webb (UCLU External Affairs & Campaigns Officer, NCAFC NC)

Aisling Gallagher (NUS-USI Women’s Officer, NCAFC NC)

Shreya Paudel (NUS International Students’ Committee)

James McAsh (NUS NEC, NCAFC NC)

Omar Raii (NCAFC Black* Power Rep, UCLU Halls Accommodation Rep)

Matt Reuben (Royal Holloway SU Disabled Students Officer, NCAFC Disabled Students Rep)

Emma Brownbill (NCAFC LGBTQ Rep)

Beth Redmond (NCAFC NC)

Max Crema (Unison Scotland Labour Youth Rep)

Grace Jeremy (UCLU Disabled Students’ Officer)

Søren Goard (Goldsmiths SU Education Officer)

Daniel Cooper (University of London Union VP, NCAFC NC)

Jamie Green (Royal Holloway SU VP Communications & Campaigns)

Helena McCoy (NUS Welfare Committee, Stanmore College VP Campaigns & Welfare)

Matt Withers (Central School of Speech & Drama SU President, NUS London Committee)

Clifford Fleming (Manchester SU Campaigns Officer, Young Greens Co-Chair)

James Perkins (City University London SU VP Education, NUS London Committee)

Hattie Craig (University of Birmingham Guild of Students VP Education, NCAFC NC)

Areeb Ullah (Kings College London SU VP Academic Affairs, NUS Black Students’ Campaign Committee)

Deborah Hermanns (NCAFC NC, Birmingham Guild NUS Delegate)

Sam Rae (Sheffield SU Education Officer)

Rob Henthorn (Aberdeen University Students’ Association President for Education)

Rosie Dammers (Manchester SU Education Officer)

Natalie Poernig (Central School of Speech & Drama SU Vice President (Democracy))

Tom Wragg (University of Birmingham Guild of Students VP Democracy & Resources)

Howard Littler (Goldsmiths SU Campaigns Officer)

Keir Gallagher (UCLU Education & Campaigns Officer)

Kirsty Haigh (Edinburgh University Students’ Association VP Services, NCAFC NC)

Adam Bland (University of Central Lancashire SU Education Officer)

Jack Saffery-Rowe (Royal Holloway SU LGBT+ Officer)

James Elliott (Oxford University SU Disabled Students’ Officer)

Hannah Roberts (Students’ Union University of the Arts Education Officer)

Gary Paterson (NUS Scotland Executive Committee & University of Strathclyde Students Association)

Neill Clark (Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association VP Education)

Blane Abercrombie (Students’ Association University of the West of Scotland President)

James Moohan (Edinburgh College Students’ Association VP Education)

Michelle Bingham (South Lanarkshire College Students’ Association President)

Let’s work together to build a national demonstration against fees and cuts

The education system as we know it is under attack.  Under the last government, almost £1 billion in cuts to further and higher education were announced. If this wasn’t enough, the new government has announced that an extra £670 million will be cut from the Department of Education.

[Read more...]

Lambeth College fights cuts

UCU and Unison members at Lambeth College are fighting plans by their management for £3.5 million in cuts – which will mean up to a hundred teaching and support staff losing their jobs – and a much worse education for students and service for the local community.
[Read more...]

Lambeth UNISON branch official support

Please read below the official communication sent today to NCAFC members and general public:

Hi Comrades,

Lambeth UNISON has voted to affiliate to the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts and work with NCAFC to fight for workers and students against government attacks on education. Lambeth UNSON represents support workers at Lambeth College, who are fighting alongside brothers and sisters in the UCU against a huge plan of job and course cuts.

We would like to work with you to launch a student and worker campaign at the college and discuss how we can build solidarity for other universities and colleges. Some of the ideas for joint work are listed below but we would welcome ideas for other initiatives.

  • Joint meetings at Lambeth College
  • Producing joint propaganda against fees and cuts
  • Contacting other trade union branches to encourage
    them to affiliate to NCAFC and fight together in colleges
    and universities

In Solidarity,

Ruth Cashman

Steward, West Norwood Library & Assistant Branch Secretary

Students and Workers march in London against cuts in Education

According to the Socialist Worker over one thousand students and workers have marched today through the streets of London to defend Higher Education.

The protest, called by the University and College Union (UCU), took place two days after the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) sentenced cuts in 80% of English universities’ funding.

Students, lecturers, staff , family and friends from many of the recently affected universities, such as Sussex, Leeds, King’s College London and University College London (UCL) came together to denounce these preposterous measures.

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts was heavily present, with several students chanting happily behind an impressive nine feet banner. You can find a video of our contingent here.

The NCAFC contingent started off UCL campus, together with UCL UCU members, joining the rest of the demonstrators at King’s College in the Strand.

From there a very loud and very enthused crowd strolled to Downing Street to hand a statement to the Prime Minister condemning the cuts and in defence of education.

A rally followed suit with protesters still aflame, staging short sit-ins mid-Whitehall, singing and applauding the speakers.

The demonstration counted also with the vital support of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS).