Unite and UCU unions out together earlier this year (Picture: Imperial UCU/Twitter)

University workers at Imperial College in west London are not backing down in their fight for fair pay. Workers in the UCU, Unite and Unison unions together on picket lines on Thursday and Friday of last week.

UCU members at Imperial are also taking part in the marking and assessment boycott (Mab) as part of the national dispute over conditions and pensions.

But they are forced to strike locally over pay because their bosses withdrew from national collective bargaining.

On picket lines workers pointed out that the university has upwards of £850 million. But the bosses still don’t want to pay their workers properly. And on Saturday UCU members from Imperial brought their banner and marched at Trans+ Pride in central London.

Meanwhile, campaigning by workers has forced bosses at Falmouth University to bring all on-campus academic staff in-house. Staff will no longer be employed through a subsidiary company.

This means all workers can access pension schemes, and all new on-campus academic workers will be employed directly through the university.

Falmouth University UCU union branch co-chair David Devanny said, “We have been campaigning for this for some time. And this is clearly an issue which means a lot to UCU members here at Falmouth, who have sacrificed a lot.

“This outcome allows on-campus members to be employed by the university again, giving them the same terms, conditions
and pension rights as colleagues at other universities.”

Further education workers prepare for strike ballot

Thousands of college workers across England  could strike together for higher pay—and to put an end to unmanageable workloads.

UCU union members in further education will be balloted for strikes from September. They have already voted for strikes by 87 percent on a 51 percent in a consultative ballot.

College workers have suffered pay cuts of up to 30 percent over a decade, and thousands of college positions go unfilled every year.

UCU activists have to go-out to get the vote out in order to win the ballot and smash through the turnout thresholds in the Tory anti‑union laws.

Further education workers should learn the lessons from UCU members in higher education. To win, strikes must be longer than a few days here and there.

All-out or indefinite strikes are the best way to win. And workers in further education must take democratic control over this dispute—through strike committees—that can challenge union leaders attempts to settle for bad deals.

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