Lecturers in the UCU union in universities across Britain will begin balloting for industrial action over job cuts this week. The ballot follows a refusal by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to reach a national agreement with the unions to avoid redundancies in higher education.
Unions met the employer at the end of last month expecting to be given a pay offer to negotiate. Instead they were told that there would be no pay offer and that up to 100 universities had plans to make redundancies.
The employer offered workers a 0.3 percent pay rise on Monday of this week. But the union is continuing with its ballot over job losses.
Workers in both higher and further education are facing an unprecedented attack. Battles are already taking place in a number of institutions, most notably London Metropolitan University, whose ballot for industrial action over job cuts was due to end on Wednesday of this week.
Workers at London Met will be demonstrating on Saturday 23 May against the cuts—along with civil service workers facing cuts at Archway Tower. The march assembles at 11am, Highbury Fields and will march to a rally in Archway Park.
Liverpool University and Doncaster college, which are both facing swingeing job cuts, are holding protests on Saturday 9 May against the attacks.
No college or university is safe from the threat of cuts. The national ballot raises the stakes in the fight to save jobs and education – and the job of every activist now is to build the yes vote.
The ballot ends on 22 May.