The Socialist

The Socialist 24 January 2018

Socialist planning needed to end privatisation scam

The Socialist issue 979

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Lecturers vote yes to national strikes against pension cuts

Save our pensions, photo Paul Mattsson

Save our pensions, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Morecroft, Sheffield UCU anti-casualisation officer

88% of University and College Union (UCU) members in 68 universities have voted for national strikes on a 58% turnout.

Universities UK is proposing to scrap the 'defined benefit' element of our pensions. This will reduce the value of staff pensions by 50% or more, and leave an average lecturer 200,000 worse off in retirement.

This is the highest turnout for a national ballot in the history of UCU, showing the anger at the scale of the attack. Many branches worked hard to build this, giving us a strong mandate for action.

At the time of writing there are further negotiations scheduled, beginning on 23 January.

But if there is no change in the employer's plans, UCU has announced a sustained, escalating programme of 14 days of strike action. This will begin with a two-day stoppage on or around 22 February, alongside action short of strike like working to contract.

61 of the universities balloted secured turnouts above 50%. The seven other institutions which voted for action but didn't secure the threshold required by the latest anti-union law will now be quickly re-balloted in light of the national result.

On all affected campuses, and on those not affected, meetings of workers and students must be held to begin to build solidarity for the strikes. This attack on our pensions is part of the marketisation and privatisation strategy of the Tory government. Unite to defend pensions and education!

In this issue

What we think

Turn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Welsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

Private profit out of our NHS

Leeds playing fields rescued from Blairites

May's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

News in brief

Vietnam war

Vietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive

Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

PCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

Brum care workers protest council attacks

Amy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

Ballots against Bromley privatisers

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

International socialist news and analysis

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Victory against government's war on eastern European homeless

Women rally defiantly

Gentrification scourge hits Kent

Kirklees council opens consultation of library services

Southampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers


Red Mary - a Force of Nature

Obituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018


Carillion and the construction industry

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

Universal credit: set up to fail

The Socialist inbox


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24 January 2018