Socialist Worker

Support floods in for striking lecturers

Issue No. 2242

Lecturers at Dundee University struck on Tuesday of this week over compulsory redundancies.

Strikers reported an upbeat mood on picket lines, where they were joined by students.

Mona Clark is secretary of Dundee University UCU union branch. She told Socialist Worker, “We’ve got pickets at almost all of the main entrances and the turnout is better than we’d expected.

“We’ve had lots of support from other trade unions and workers. Academics from other institutions have sent us messages saying ‘good on you’ and wishing us luck.

“I think it reflects the mood in the country and the anger people feel about the cuts.”

Workers voted to strike after management refused to commit to no compulsory redundancies.

The university wants to cut almost 200 jobs as part of a “strategic review”.

Strikers reject the idea that cuts are inevitable.

“It’s not the case that there’s no money,” said Mona.

“It’s that the government’s priorities are wrong. Education is something that should be invested in. It should be given more money, not less.”

Some 200 strikers, trade unionists and students rallied at the university at lunchtime.

Students in particular turned out to show their support for striking lecturers.

Carlo Morelli, president of Dundee University UCU, told Socialist Worker, “The support has been remarkable.

“Some of us thought the strike may cause a polarisation on campus but that hasn’t happened.

“The backdown over fees in Scotland [see above] has destroyed the employers’ agenda.

“They’ve got egg on their faces because it looks like they were the ones pushing the cuts. They say they don’t know what to do next.”

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UCU members at the University of Leeds have voted to strike.

They are angry at management’s failure to honour an agreement over jobs.

More than 50 percent backed strikes and nearly 67 percent backed action short of strikes.

Lecturers are meeting to discuss the next steps.

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Sat 12 Mar 2011, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2242
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