Socialist Worker

Lecturers walk out against attacks in higher education

by Andy Stafford
Issue No. 2560

On the picket line at Leeds University

On the picket line at Leeds University (Pic: Steve Johnston )


Lecturers and other university workers in the UCU union at Leeds University struck last Thursday.

Their walkout launched a campaign against new university rules that undermine academic freedom.

Workers are angry that the university wants to bring in a new clause that would make “some other substantial reason” a ground for dismissal.

They feel this reduces workers’ protections as part of the Tories’ privatisation drive in higher education.

Their walkout coincided with an open day for prospective students.

Parents with students visiting for the open day got to hear the arguments about what is happening to Universities.

Plenty of younger colleagues, and other researchers visiting the university, joined the lively picket lines.

More action for the autumn is being discussed.


Pickets were out in force for the last day of their two-day strike at Manchester Metropolitan University last Wednesday.

The UCU union members are fighting against up to 160 redundancies and the closure of the Crewe campus.

“The new vice-chancellor wants to show he can push through redundancies”, said one picket.

“We don’t have a say, that’s why we’re striking.”

Mike Killian


UCU members at the College of North West London were set to strike on Wednesday and Saturday to defend suspended union rep Indro Sen.

They have already struck twice to demand Sen’s reinstatement, after backing strikes by 83 percent in a ballot.

Meanwhile a protest over pay cuts at Darlington College was called off last week after bosses agreed to new talks.


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