A major battle is on over education at the University of Leeds.
Lecturers were set to strike against job cuts this Thursday, and Tuesday and Thursday of next week.
Management wants to slash 10 percent from the university’s budget and impose job cuts.
This week bosses admitted that 400 jobs will go. But the UCU lecturers’ union believes that the actual figure could be up to 700 in total. Talks are continuing.
Trade unionists and students have flooded Leeds workers with messages of support.
“This government has started to take a wrecking ball to higher education,” says one from Veronica Killen, UCU northern regional secretary.
“Your fight is so important because you have shown that this can be resisted.”
“I am a student, and I want to have tutors,” reads another, from Conor Whelan.
“Keep it up. We’ll be with you at the picket lines.”
Elsewhere students and workers have organised demonstrations to campaign against cuts and highlight the struggle at Leeds.
“We will be protesting on Thursday in solidarity with the Leeds strike,” said Simon, a student from Sussex University—another place where management is pushing major cuts.
All workers and students should rush solidarity to the strikers.
Students can collect money for the strikers in their lectures and canteens. They can demand time to talk about the strike at the start of their lectures.
Unions should pass motions backing Leeds workers and send donations to the strike fund.
The cuts would turn the clock back to a time when only those with money could get an education. But when workers fight they can win.
An all-out, indefinite strike at Tower Hamlets College in east London last year saved jobs and course places.
The battle in Leeds can galvanise a wider fightback to save jobs and education.
See this website for updates.
Protest in London on 20 March to defend education. Go to » www.ucu.org.uk for more details.
To download a collection sheet for Leeds university, to send messages of support and for more information go to » leedsucu.wordpress.com