ALL THE universities in London face the possibility of joint strike action by a united front of academics and administrative, technical and support staff for the first time ever. University workers are pressing for an improvement in their London weighting allowance.
Lecturers in the 'new universities' (former polytechnics) in London have rejected their employers' offer of a 3.5 percent London weighting increase. Their Natfhe union is to ballot for strike action. Lecturers in the 'old universities' have received no offer of any improvement in London weighting.
Their union, the Association of University Teachers (AUT), will ballot them on strikes. Leaders of both lecturers' unions are talking about united strike action in mid-November. Activists are arguing for that to be the day set by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) for a one-day strike in London over the same issue. NUT ballot papers were due to go out on Friday of this week.
The second biggest teachers' union, the NASUWT, is also to ballot for a strike in London on that day, following a 70 percent indicative vote for action. Administrative and support staff members of the Unison union working in the old universities struck for one day at the end of last month.
Activists are arguing for further strike action alongside lecturers and teachers. Unison will also be balloting members in new universities, with a view to taking strike action alongside other unions.