Members of the University and College Union (UCU) in 110 colleges in England and 147 UK universities are being balloted for strike action in a row over pay. The ballots opened on Thursday 30 August and will close on Friday 19 October.
The dispute in universities has arisen after management made a final offer of a 2% pay increase for staff. This does nothing to address the falling value of higher education pay, which has declined in real terms by 21% since 2009. The falling standards of living that have been forced upon staff for almost a decade are becoming intolerable, especially when university management pay remains astronomical.
Meanwhile college staff have seen their pay decline by 25% over the last decade.
Marxist students urge university and college staff to vote yes to strike action. The action needs to be well co-ordinated and with a clear strategy for winning the dispute.
Pay has been falling for a decade because capitalism is in crisis. To win this dispute the UCU must link up with other unions and develop a strategy for bringing down the government and bringing Corbyn to power on a socialist programme. Unison Higher Education staff are also currently balloting for strike action, which provides us with an enormous opportunity to link these struggles together.
The first step along this path is to vote yes to strike action in the current ballot. Marxist societies all over the country will support our staff by building support for the strike action, joining the picket line, and developing the struggle for decent pay into one against the government and against a capitalist system whose crises take money out of our pockets.