Students and workers united in December against the Aberdeen university cuts (Picture: Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco)

University bosses are pushing through cuts—but workers are fighting back.

Language subjects are under attack from management at Aberdeen University, so workers are planning to strike.

More than 30 staff could be made redundant under the plan.

Courses in languages, including Gaelic, which has been taught at the university since the 18th century, could go.

Stephen Forcer, the head of modern languages, wrote in a letter to management, “With respect, it is as if the management group has not noticed that removing language degrees fundamentally changes the nature of the University of Aberdeen.

“In the same way as discontinuing maths, the natural sciences or history, the plans undermine Aberdeen’s status both as a university and as an ancient institution.”

The attack on modern languages at Aberdeen is part of a broader ideological attack on humanities subjects by neoliberal university bosses, egged on by the Tories.

Members of the UCU union at Aberdeen should vote yes for strikes.

Sign the petition against the cuts at tinyurl.com/StopAberdeenCuts

Mass job cut threats at Sheffield Hallam

Every member of the academic staff at Sheffield Hallam University has received an email from management asking them if they would be willing to voluntarily give up their job.

The announcement, which came just before Christmas, was met with fury from workers at the university whose jobs are now on the line.

The UCU branch planned an emergency branch meeting on Wednesday this week and has already released a survey about whether workers are prepared to go on strike.

Workers are especially furious because university bosses have, for many years, funnelled money into a series of multi-million-pound building projects.

Even more shocking is that, the university plans to open a campus in London that will cost billions of pounds.

Hallam UCU said it “believes that any opportunity to reduce spending on new buildings and non-essential renovations of existing buildings should be taken before reducing staff costs.

“Many years of real terms pay cuts and increased workloads have already created degraded working conditions and recruitment retention problems.

“Budget issues can be resolved without compulsory redundancies.

“Management should seriously consider all alternative proposals put forward by affected staff and union before any job losses are confirmed.”

UCU general secretary and national executive elections begin on 25 January. Campaign and vote for UCU Left and Saira Weiner for general secretary. Go to uculeft.org

Workers win after claim of ‘aggressive orange eating’

Cleaners have won their dispute against toffs that run the private members Hurlingham Club in London.

Workers who are members of the UVW union say a racist and intimidating manager was bullying them.

This manager ridiculously accused one of the workers, Akwasi, of eating an orange in an “aggressive and intimidatory manner.”

Akwasi said she was worried about being dismissed from the job because of the accusation.

The workers then came together to file a collective grievance against the manager.

The bosses at the club decided to remove the manager. But after this victory, workers didn’t stop there. They decided to push for better pay.

Under pressure from workers, the bosses gave workers a 7.6 percent pay rise and even gave them a Christmas bonus.

Government cleaners in revolt

Cleaners at the department of education plan action over pay.

UVW union members have told managers at the Sanctuary Buildings to start negotiations or they will face a dispute.

Workers are also angry that their sick pay is tiny compared to the civil servants working in the building.

Kadijatu Jalloh, a cleaner, said, “They don’t treat us cleaners like human beings. They treat us like rats.

“You get the bare minimum if you’re sick.”

Workers struck last summer, but management didn’t listen to their demands.

 

Workers claim TUC owes them for unfair dismissal

Darren and Greg, who between them had worked 25 years for the TUC union federation, were this week planning a protest over their sacking last year.

They said they and their supporters would be outside the TUC headquarters at midday on Wednesday this week.

They are currently suing the TUC for race discrimination and, unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal scheduled to begin on 27 February.

John McDonnell MP has written to support the two and said, “I can only hope that even at this late stage the TUC responds positively to resolve your case.”

For details of the case go here

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