The Young Communist League expresses its full support with today’s (20 February 2020) strike action called by the University and College Union (UCU) which begins a 14 day walkout between 20 February and 13 March 2020 at 74 universities across Britain.
The UCU were forced to take this action due to the hostile and uncooperative approach adopted by the Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association in relation to pay negotiations and other key working conditions.
This dispute centres on 4 key demands. Firstly, changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) which will leave the average university employee £240,000 worse of in terms of a £200,000 decreased to their final pension on retirement coupled with a £40,000 increase to contributions. Secondly in relation to pay, university staff have seen their pay drop by over 20% in real terms in the last decade. Thirdly, a failure to tackle the gender and race pay gaps and other equality issues. Finally, a failure to address unsustainable workloads, understaffing and casualisation.
We commend UCU and its members, including members of the YCL and the Communist Party, for their brave decision to undertake the biggest wave of strikes ever seen on Britain’s campuses. The working conditions of university staff are the learning conditions of the youth. Their fight is our fight.
The UCU’s successful ballot, building on a strong turnout for an 8 day walkout in November 2019, added a further 14 universities to the strike action. This inspiring response from UCU members flies in the face of Tory anti Trade Union laws and their punitive turnout thresholds.
Rock solid support for the strike has been seen across Britain on the first day of the strike. The YCL fully supports the lecturers, teaching assistants and librarians in their struggles, and 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.
For an education system that works, support the UCU strikes!
To support university workers, support the UCU strikes!
To send a message to university bosses, support the UCU strikes!
Young Communist League
20 February 2020