The Young Communist League fully supports today’s announcement by the University and College Union (UCU) regarding upcoming strike action, beginning on 25 November.
We not only recognise that this action has become necessary, we commend the UCU for taking the decision to strike in both of their disputes over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), as well as their struggle over pay, casualisation, equality and workloads.
The UCU are also to be commended for their success in garnering support for strike action in the face of the draconian restrictions contained in the government’s anti-trade union laws. In the ballot on USS, 79% of voting members supported strike action, whilst the strike ballot over pay, casualisation, equality and workloads, had 74% of the voters support.
The strong supports in both ballots is indicative of the dire straits that university lecturers and teaching staff find themselves in. Many lecturers and other university employees are themselves younger people or postgraduate students. Some will be your teachers who not only demand a fairer education system for you, your classmates and the rest of the youth of Britain, but are willing to fight for it and deserve your active support.
As with last year’s UCU strike action, the YCL fully supports the lecturers, teaching assistants and librarians in both their upcoming struggles, and just like last year, all students in the YCL will be out on the picket lines, supporting their lecturers. Their struggle is our struggle and we will fight together to ensure the success of the strikes.
It is imperative that we do, not only for our own education, but also to send a message that working class solidarity will always overcome the division and exploitation of the bosses. The fact that lecturers are having to go on strike again, despite action last year, highlights the situation that they find themselves in.
The struggle against casualisation, for better pay and conditions, is a struggle that we all feel. Working class students and young people are forced into more and more precarious employment, with fewer rights at work, eroded by government and unscrupulous employers.
YCLers working in the universities sector, and indeed nearly every other sector, can see this all around them and are taking action. This announced strike is another opportunity to support our fellow workers in the struggle against yet another poor employer and a feckless government.
The dynamic between students and lecturers does not change this. If anything it encourages us, as students, as communists, to fight for their rights, as we realise this is for the betterment of the wider education sector and our lives as a whole.
For a better education system, support the UCU strikes!
To support your fellow workers, support the UCU strikes!
To send a message to all employers, support the UCU strikes!