Last week it was announced that UCU, Unison and Unite unions will be taking joint strike action on Thursday 31st October 2013 to demand decent pay and conditions. This action will involve academic and non-academic staff at universities all over the country.
Marxist students wholeheartedly support this strike action as a step forward in the struggle for a socialist society, which is the only way to guarantee decent pay and conditions for staff; decent and free education for all; and properly funded public services for everyone.
Below is a model resolution that students should bring to their local Marxist Society and their student union. For more information about the plans for the 31st October in your area, get in touch with your local Marxist Society.
Resolution in support of the joint strike action on 31st October 2013
SU/Marxist Society notes:
- That since 2008, when £850 billion of public money was used to bail-out banks that continue to pay out billions in bonuses, the government has aimed to recoup that money by cutting back on public spending on health, transport, benefits and education.
- That despite government claims that Britain is emerging from the crisis, the reality is that cuts and austerity for the vast majority of people are continuing unabated and will not subside for years to come.
- That as a result of this, University staff have, since the beginning of the crisis of capitalism in 2008, suffered a real terms pay cut of 13%.
- That staff are being offered no more than a 1% pay rise this year despite inflation remaining at 2.7% and some prices rising even faster than that.
- That as a result of this, UCU, Unison and Unite unions have agreed joint strike action on 31st October 2013 that will include academic and non-academic members of university staff.
SU/Marxist Society believes:
- That the pay and conditions of university staff are being slashed as part of a wider attack on education in Britain that has seen cuts to courses, an increase in tuition fees and the introduction of free schools; and that the struggle by staff for decent pay therefore concerns students as much as the fight for free and decent education.
- That this attack on education cannot be separated from similar attacks on the NHS, the unemployed, the disabled, the welfare state, the emergency services and other publicly funded institutions; and that the struggle against cuts to these services therefore concerns students as much as the fight for free and decent education.
- That there is enough money in Britain, not only to avoid these attacks, but in fact to greatly increase public funding for education, healthcare and the welfare state.
- That this money (amounting to £750bn) is currently privately owned and remains uninvested, not because it is not needed, but because it cannot be used to profit the handful of people who control it.
- That this situation is the result of a capitalist economic system run for profit instead of need, and whose operation inevitably results in crises, inefficiency and the growth of inequality.
SU/Marxist Society resolves:
- To publicly support all university staff taking strike action on 31st October 2013.
- To publicly encourage all students not to cross picket lines.
- To send delegates to the local Trades Council and to picket lines to offer practical support for the strike on the 31st October 2013 and for further action to fight against cuts to public services.
- To call for the nationalisation under democratic control of the banks and big businesses as the only way to secure decent pay and conditions for university staff, decent and free education for all, and properly funded public services.