Socialist Worker

Step up post-16 action to win over pay insults

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2392

Further and higher education workers were set to meet to discuss an ongoing pay dispute on Saturday of this week.

The national activists meeting is hosted by UCU Left and higher education activists in the Unison union.

It takes place after the UCU union decided against calling further strikes in the campaign for decent pay. The union plans to begin a marking boycott from 28 April.

A series of strikes in further and higher education have brought together UCU, Unison, Unite and EIS union members against below-inflation pay offers.

The UCU has also held a series of two-hour strikes as part of the campaign. Some activists rightly argued that these would not be enough to win a decent pay rise. Yet despite concerns about the union’s strategy, the walkouts were generally a success.

No union has any further strikes planned.

Many activists will want to come to the meeting to discuss how to get the pay campaign back on track. The UCU Left, which Socialist Workers Party members support, is arguing that the union should escalate strikes. Further and higher education unions could call a strike on 26 March, to coordinate action with teachers in the NUT union.

  • National Activists Meeting— Saturday 1 March, 11am–4pm, School of Oriental and African Studies, Vernon Square, London WC1X 9EW.

Elections for the UCU national executive committee and vice-president were set to close on Friday of this week. Socialist Worker backs UCU Left candidates in the elections, including Loraine Monk for vice president. Go to uculeft.org.uk for more details.


Lewis nielsen, one of the Sussex Five, won 714 votes in the University of Sussex student union elections last week. Lewis was standing for the position of Education Officer. He came second in the first round to Bethan Hunt, who got 1,020 votes.

Lewis was one of five students who were suspended last year after taking part in an occupation in support of striking university workers.

Some 9,000 people also signed a petition demanding their return and there was a Student Union-led student strike.


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