Student unions should build for occupations to support striking staff

The resolution below is being submitted by the Cambridge Marxist society to the Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) to build support for the UCU strike action. Marxist societies all over the country should take this as a model motion to build for student occupations to support lecturers around the country.

CUSU Notes:

  1. The UCU strike is the most powerful threat to the marketization of education since the anti-tuition fees movement.
  2. That CUSU council resolved to support the strike on 22nd January 2018.
  3. That in the first week of the strike national polling demonstrated huge support (61%) from students. The greatest support (66%) is from students in striking universities (
  4. That administrative HE staff in Unison are being balloted for strike action, indicating that this strike is due to escalate.
  5. That it is not just university staff who are suffering the effects of austerity in Higher Education. Tuition fees, rising rent and other living costs, are a huge burden on students.
  6. That whilst workers are asked to tighten our belts, big business is sitting on cash stockpiles worth billions.

CUSU Believes:

  1. That this is an vital opportunity to launch a mass national student movement, in tandem with the workers’ struggle, to resist marketization of Higher Education and to fight for free, accessible education for all.
  2. That students are an important auxiliary in the workers’ struggle, and that our intervention on a mass scale can prove decisive.
  3. That the nationalisation and socialisation of the commanding heights of the economy, with profit going back into society rather than to the capitalist class, is a necessary precondition to a free and accessible education system.

CUSU Resolves:

  1. To ballot our members for a student strike and mass occupation of key buildings (e.g. Senate House, the Old Schools) for the following demands:
    1. Hands Off USS! No changes to be made to the USS pension; for defined benefit to be maintained.
    2. Free and accessible education now! We demand an immediate end to course fees for both national and international students; we demand full living grants to all students; we demand the cancellation of all student debt.
    3. To pay for this with the nationalisation without compensation of the 100 biggest banks and businesses in Britain, to be run under the democratic control of their workforces.
  2. To campaign for a Yes vote to student strike action
  3. To campaign for the NUS to ballot all of its members for a student strike and a wave of mass occupations on the demands above (under Resolves 1).