Socialist Worker

Strikes win jobs victory for Brighton lecturers

by Mark Abel, chair UCU coordinating committee, University of Brighton
Issue No. 2583

UCU union members on the picket line in Brighton in March

UCU union members on the picket line in Brighton in March (Pic: Tom Hickey)

Strikes at the University of Brighton have forced bosses to withdraw plans for compulsory redundancies.

UCU union members planned a two-day strike this week, following a one and a half day strike last month. The union called off the action and a work to rule after reaching an agreement with management.

The walkout last month hit five campuses. Large numbers of students joined lecturers on the picket lines.

Local trade unionists from schools and the council also came to offer solidarity.

Management was spooked by the amount of media coverage the action attracted. The vice chancellor responded by accusing UCU members of intimidation and breaches of trade union law.

This only served to strengthen workers’ determination to oppose the redundancies.

Senior management quickly backed off from a threat to derecognise the union and moved to find a way to end the dispute.

If workers are prepared to commit to escalating strikes, they can win.

Trying to force through the redundancies was a way for management to test the union’s resolve.

We can rightly feel proud that we stood firm.

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