Socialist Worker

Hundreds join protest to save Stourbridge College

Issue No. 2661

Protesting to save Stourbridge College last Saturday

Protesting to save Stourbridge College last Saturday (Pic: Martin Lynch)

Around 400 people joined a protest last Saturday to defend Stourbridge College in the West Midlands, which faces closure.

Students there will be expected to travel to Dudley or Halesowen colleges, which will cost more time and money.

Strike looms in Bradford

Workers at Bradford College were set to walk out for three days from Wednesday over job cuts and pay.

UCU union members are fighting bosses’ plans to slash 131 jobs. They are also demanding a pay rise after receiving just 1 percent in the last 11 years.

UCU members have already struck for seven days this year over pay. Strikes at other colleges have won pay rises and improvements to contracts and conditions.

Well supported walkout in Nottingham

Workers at Nottingham College struck on Monday over bosses’ plans to impose new contracts.

Bosses have threatened to dismiss workers who don’t sign up to them.

Ex-chair of the UCU at Nottingham university Howard Stevenson said, “If you don’t fight you have no chance of winning. If you do fight you have that chance.” It was a very well supported strike.

Richard Buckwell

Struggle for a living wage at Birmingham university

Workers at Birmingham University staged an impressive one-day strike last Friday.

Strikers from grounds maintenance, catering and admin sections held large, lively pickets at every entrance to the campus. It’s the latest action in the Unison union members’ long-running fight for £8.21 an hour.

The vice chancellor David Eastwood has an annual salary of £444,000.

Yet strikers spoke of being unable to afford to run a car, using food banks, and having to take second jobs to survive.

Students and the Unite and FBU unions showed solidarity.

Speakers at a 100-strong rally included Dave Muritu, a victimised UCU union rep from a nearby college.

Jenny Austen

UCU plans ballots on pay and pensions

The UCU union has announced a timetable for strike ballots over pay and pensions in universities.

The move comes as workers face renewed attacks on their USS pension scheme, and a below-inflation pay offer.

The ballots will run from Monday 9 September until Wednesday 30 October. And they will be disaggregated, meaning that each university will be balloted separately.

The pensions ballot will involve UCU members across 69 universities. The pay ballot will affect around 140 institutions.

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