Students, support your striking lecturers!

By: Angus Satow, Zero Carbon Cambridge
UCU posted saying "Our pensions axed"

Last month university staff up and down the country announced they’re going on strike over pension reforms. Universities UK are trying to take away our lecturers’ right to a defined income when they retire. Our teachers and staff stand to lose up to 40% of their retirement income.

At Cambridge we’re clear that we students stand with the University and Colleges Union (UCU) in their resistance to this attack.

This is just another stage in a constant barrage from the neoliberal state to destroy education as a public good. Creating a class of precarious workers is the latest step in their attempt to replace education as a public good with a market whose only winners are those at the top. To complain about our value for money being eroded only helps this project.

We stand for a free and liberated higher education sector. That comes through solidarity – staff stand with students against tuition fees, and we support them in their right to a stable pension.

Together, we can show what a socialist future looks like. So we won’t be crossing picket lines when they go on strike in the coming weeks. Instead, we’ll be:

  • Setting up information stalls on campus
  • Writing articles for the student press
  • Making banners
  • Holding rallies
  • Fundraising for the strike fund

We want our Vice-Chancellor to speak out against these unnecessary changes; that’ll only happen with maximum impact from the strike and maximum support from students.

None of this is limited to Cambridge. If students across the country take action, we can help our lecturers beat back this attack and resist the latest neoliberal onslaught. As members of the People & Planet network, we can join forces with free education campaigns, local UCU branches, students’ unions and Labour clubs to build a powerful resistance - able to win. 

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