Members of the University and College Union (UCU) in 110 colleges in England and 147 UK universities are being balloted for strike action in a row over pay. The ballots opened on Thursday 30th August and will close on Friday 19th October.
The dispute in universities has arisen after management made a final offer of a 2% pay increase for staff. This does nothing to address the falling pay in higher education, which has declined in real terms by 21% since 2009.
The falling standards of living that have been forced upon staff for almost a decade are becoming intolerable, especially when compared to the eye-watering pay cheques taken home by university management.
College staff, meanwhile, have seen their pay decline by 25% over the last decade.
Marxist students urge university and college staff to vote Yes to strike action. The action needs to be well co-ordinated and with a clear strategy for winning the dispute.
Unison Higher Education staff are also set to ballot for strike action over pay. This provides an enormous opportunity to link these struggles together.
Pay has been falling across the board - in both the public and private sectors - for the last decade because of the crisis of capitalism. To win this dispute the UCU must link up with Unison and other unions. The united labour movement needs to develop a strategy for bringing down the government and bringing Corbyn to power on a socialist programme.
The first step along this path is to vote Yes to strike action in the current ballot. Marxist societies all over the country will support staff by building support for the strike action and joining the picket lines.
Above all, we will be calling to develop the struggle for decent pay into one against the Tory government and against a capitalist system whose crises rob workers of the pay they deserve.
- Vote Yes to strike action!
- Unite the struggles! Students and workers: unite and fight!
- Bring down the Tory government! Bring down the system!