UCU strikes: Students urged to support striking lecturers by Young Greens
The Young Greens have called on students and young people across England and Wales to stand in solidarity striking university workers in the UCU this week. Their call comes as 70,000 university staff have engaged in a 48 hour strike in a dispute over pay, pensions, conditions and casualisation. UCU members are set to walk out again on November 30.
The Young Greens – the official youth and student wing of the Green Party of England and Wales – has said that the strikes are part of a wider struggle against marketisation in the higher education sector.
Jamie Payne, Green Students Committee co-convener, said, “The Young Greens support the UCU strikes. These aren’t radical demands – every worker deserves a wage that doesn’t fall in real terms, a secure pension, and fair working conditions. Casual contracts also need to be scrapped to give postgraduate research students some income security.
“Students directly benefit if these demands are met. Fair pay and working conditions facilitate a better working environment, – when that environment is the classroom, students receive a better education.
“The marketisation of education has damaged students and staff alike – this is a joint struggle where students and staff need to stand together. The Young Greens will be out on picket lines across the country and will continue supporting the UCU’s demands until the dispute has been resolved.”
Alongside its call, the Young Greens has also released a toolkit providing advice and resources on how students can support the strikes.
Since 2009, UCU members have seen their pay cut by 25 per cent in real terms. As a result of changes to the USS pension scheme (which only academics at older universities will be part of), academics under the age of 40 are set to lose between £100,000 and £200,000 from their pensions.
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