Joe Attard, Support the UCU Strike leader, has an update for us:
Monday 26, Tuesday 27 (joint demo w. cleaners) and Wednesday 28 February
Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March
Monday 12, Tuesday 13, Wednesday 14, Thursday 15 and Friday 16 March
Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 March
Why are lecturers striking?
Members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) have voted in record numbers for strike action over attacks to the lecturers’ main pension scheme. 92% of KCL lecturers voted to strike. The university bosses’ organisation, Universities UK (UKK) wants to change the sector’s major pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), from a guaranteed source of income for retirees to a far riskier plan, where pensions are subject to shifts in the stock market. This could leave retired lecturers £10,000 a year worse off.
For years, our extortionate fees have been squandered on vice-chancellor’s salaries and expensive development projects, designed to rope in more students to exploit, rather than being reinvested in teaching. Ed Byrne, 'President and Principal' of King’s College London, receives a salary of £458,000, representing a 29% increase on his predecessor. Having benefited from such extravagance, he and other vice-chancellors are now seeking to cut the pensions of their own staff by up to 40%, on top of a 15% pay cut on average over the past seven years.
The higher education sector has been casualised and marketised to within an inch of its life. The quality of your education is already hampered by severely casualised, overworked and underappreciated staff. If this strike fails, it will be a message to the bosses that they can keep treating student.
How students can help
1) Join us the picket lines during strike days: DON’T GO TO CLASS! DON’T CROSS THE PICKET LINES!
2) Sign the petition on kclsu.org: “Support the UCU lecturers strike”: https://www.kclsu.org/representingyou/campaigns/ourcampaigns/supportucu/
3) Email Ed Byrne at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, insisting he comes out in support of the UCU’s demands.
4) Send messages of support to your lecturers and seminar tutors.
5) Attend the lecturers/cleaners solidarity demo in front of Strand on 27 Feb at 12pm.
6) Join the campaign page and share the hashtag #StudentsNotConsumers: https://www.facebook.com/studentsnotconsumers/
7) Get involved in the teach-outs, performances and other activities taking place on the picket lines over the strike period! These will all be updated on the solidarity campaign page.