The Workers Party of Britain denounces the ongoing attack on college lecturers’ pensions, pay and working conditions and commends their decision to go on strike for ten days in February.
University bosses want to make a 35% cut from lecturers’ guaranteed retirement income, refuse to rectify the 20% real terms pay cut that has opened up over the past 12 years, and continue to impose crippling workloads and dodgy contracts on already overstretched staff. Lecturers are demanding a £2,500 pay rise across the board, retraction of the threatened 35% pension cut and improved working conditions.
In addition to the outright strikes, some lecturers are working to rule, refusing to cover for staff absence, reschedule lectures canceled because of strike action or undertake voluntary activities.
Some universities are threatening to dock lecturers’ pay in retaliation, by 25%, 50% or even (at six universities) 100% – effectively imposing a lockout.
The readiness of some hard nosed college bosses to go so far as to impose a lockout on academic workers, a class war tactic that is more commonly encountered in a blue collar environment, is a salutary reminder that lecturers in the end are as much wage slaves as the rest of the working class. And as such, their greatest strength lies in their ability to organise and resist. They deserve the support of all their fellow workers. They also are being supported by their students – tomorrow’s workers.