ACTIVISTS IN the unions covering university workers are campaigning hard against accepting a terrible offer on London allowance payments. The insulting offer only came after two one-day strikes. It amounts to just £130 a year extra in inner London, £90 in outer London, and just £30 in the surrounding areas. Negotiators in the Natfhe and AUT lecturers' unions were set to recommend accepting the deal.
But there is a strong feeling in London's universities that serious action in conjunction with other public sector workers in the city can win substantial gains. The National Union of Teachers decided last week to authorise a ballot for another one-day strike in London over allowance payments. Teachers face an utterly divisive offer which gives next to nothing to those who have been in the job for less than five years.
The offer also links any extra payments to the hated performance-related pay scheme. Activists across the public sector unions in London are arguing for further action over each specific campaign and for coordinating strikes. Meetings of council workers, teachers and lecturers have all responded enthusiastically to the idea of striking together on 1 May.
The activist grouping Natfhe Rank and File is supporting the following candidates: Paul Russell for vice-president, Peter Jones for treasurer, Roger Smith for adult education, Maire Daly for women's seat, Tina Downes for regional FE seat, Peter Murray for outer London regional FE seat, and Richard Kirwood for outer London HE seat.