Workers at Brighton University continued their indefinite strike this week after the bosses revealed a list of those they plan to sack.
Striker Christian Hogsbjerg says following news that 25 workers face compulsory redundancy, the mood amongst strikers is “furious”. “Our focus has really shifted now”, Christian explained. “We are highlighting the cases of those up for the sack.
“The justifications for making these staff members redundant are beyond a joke. Most are workers who’ve been at Brighton for more than a decade. There is a very clear goal now, to get the number of redundancies down to zero”.
Christian added that workers organising from the ground up has kept the strike strong. “We have regular protests twice a week. Last week we protested at a speech of the pro vice-chancellor for research. “We’ll be at Unite conference this week to be part of a fringe meeting alongside St Mungo’s strikers (see above), and we’re also planning to join the Trans+ Pride in Brighton on Saturday.
“Our member’s meetings, which we hold in person three times weekly, keep the strike alive. Around 100 members attend every time, and it’s a place where everyone has a voice in deciding what happens next in this strike.”
And Christian adds that while members largely agree that an indefinite strike over redundancies is the best way to win, debates are still emerging. “Some members argue we should accept cuts to our hours to try and ensure workers aren’t made redundant. This argument is being made by people that don’t think it’s possible to win.”
“We have to remind people that we can win. We tell them to look at the dispute at the University of Liverpool—they struck until all redundancies were off the cards.
Brighton strikers are also fighting threats to deduct 100 percent of their pay for participating in the marking and assessment boycott (Mab). Some workers received less than £30 in their last pay packet.
The UCU’s national leadership seem unmoved by the wave of attacks hitting their members. Instead of trying to wind down the national dispute over pay, pensions and conditions, the union should be stepping up the action.
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