Socialist Worker

Higher education workers fight back against jobs and cuts

Issue No. 2481

UCU union members at the Open University (OU) were set to strike on Wednesday of this week. They are fighting plans to close seven regional centres and slash around 500 jobs.

Workers backed strikes by 72 percent in a ballot. They plan to follow Wednesday’s national strike with a series of regional walkouts starting in Birmingham on Monday of next week.

The centres earmarked for closure are Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Gateshead, Leeds, London and Oxford.

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For details of the regional walkouts go to

Workers at the University of Manchester have voted overwhelmingly for strikes to save jobs. The UCU union members backed strikes by 77 percent in a ballot. Some 86 percent supported action short of a strike.

Around 60 delegates attended the Fighting Against Casualisation in Education (Face) campaign’s national conference in London last weekend.

Every UCU union branch should make recruitment of casualised staff a priority and have casualised staff reps with proper facility time. 

Staff with permanent contracts must support their casualised colleagues, whose position is a threat to the rights of all university workers and to the future of public education. 

Christina Paine

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