Socialist Worker

Lecturers in Brighton strike over jobs threat

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2582

Students joined the picket line to support their lecturers

Students joined the picket line to support their lecturers (Pic: UCU Brighton)


Workers at the University of Brighton struck last week against compulsory redundancies.

UCU union members walked out at 1pm last Thursday and returned to work on Monday.

Workers have now begun a work to rule.

Two workers at the university face compulsory redundancy. If this happens it would end the university’s 25-year policy of no compulsory redundancies.

The union also fears that bosses could close the Eastbourne campus, putting more jobs at risk.

And the university has already got rid of scores of workers. Some 90 workers left the university in September after accepting voluntary redundancies. UCU said some volunteered only “under threat of being made redundant if they did not”.

Temporary, hourly-paid lecturers are doing some of the work that was previously done by workers who have left.

Union members fear that bosses want more casualisation in the university.

Chair of the UCU coordinating committee Mark Abel said this casualisation harms “students’ education and the contractual terms of staff”.

If there is no agreement, UCU members plan to hold a two-day strike in December and further escalate their action in January. UCU members backed strikes by over 85 percent in a ballot.


UCU union members will begin balloting on strikes to defend pensions this week.

The ballot involves around 42,000 members at older universities who are part of the USS pension scheme.

The bosses’ Universities UK group wants to change the defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution one.

Some 87 percent backed industrial action to defend the scheme on a turnout of nearly 56 percent in an online consultation in October.

The ballot runs for seven weeks. A yes vote could see strikes at up to 70 universities.

Find out more about the dispute at bit.ly/2ibQ35I

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.