The UCU union has confirmed dates for strike ballots in both the further and higher education sectors over jobs, pay and pensions.
Higher education lecturers will ballot over jobs and pay between 2 February and 2 March.
Those in older, pre‑1992 universities will also be balloted on pensions between 2 February and 2 March.
Those in post-1992 institutions will join those in further education and vote between 23 February and 11 March.
If the ballots return a yes vote the first strike will be in the week beginning 21 March.
This is the week of the budget—and the TUC march to defend public services.
Workers in further education are being asked if they want to take action over last year’s 0.2 percent pay offer and attacks on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (see story below).
The government is raising workers’ contributions by 3.6 percent. Combined with a below‑inflation pay “rise” this will mean a significant pay cut.
UCU members in higher education are being balloted on jobs, pensions and pay. Lecturers unanimously agreed to launch a national campaign over the issues at a special conference held before Christmas.
- Over 50 lecturers attended an emergency UCU Left steering committee to plan for the largest possible yes vote in the ballots, as well as launching its slate for this years’ UCU elections.
- The national executive last week voted to support demonstrations in defence of young people’s education in both London and Manchester on Saturday 29 January.
A motion to overturn the executive’s original decision and concentrate solely on Manchester was convincingly defeated by 28 votes to 19.
Lecturers at Dundee university have voted to fight to save nearly 200 jobs that are under threat. Some 65 percent backed strikes.
A meeting of the UCU union agreed not to call action while talks with management continue.
However, workers should not allow management to spin out talks indefinitely. If they refuse to lift the threat to jobs, the union should name strike dates.