Unison and UCU union members on the picket line at Soas, University of London (Picture: Guy Smallman)

University workers reacted with anger after the Office for Students announced that it would allocate £432 million in funding for new buildings—but not to pay workers properly. The Office for Students is part of the government’s Department for Education.

It shows that the Tories look likely to hold out on university workers who have already been on strike for three days in November.

The UCU union has said negotiations with bosses over pay and conditions are currently stalling. But instead of announcing more strike days, UCU general secretary Jo Grady and other union leaders have held off in the hope of a deal.

As Socialist Worker went to press, Grady had only promised that “industrial action will escalate in the New Year if staff do not receive a fair pay award.” This isn’t good enough. Grady must announce strike dates and release a plan of action for a marking and assessment boycott.

UCU Left, which Socialist Worker supports, wrote, “We have the momentum, and we have to use it.” Several UCU branches have already passed motions calling for the union to release details of the next round of strikes.

The Cardiff branch of UCU wrote on Twitter, “Timely clarification will help prepare effectively for action in the New Year and make the best use of the immense participation and support of members in Cardiff and across our union.”

For a model motion to be used by branches, written by UCU Left, go to uculeft.org

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