Wed 2 Mar 2011 @ Socialist Worker
University lecturers across Britain have voted for strikes to defend their jobs, pay and pensions.
It’s a major step forward in the battle against Tory cuts.
UCU union members in higher education voted in two ballots – the first on jobs and pay and the second on defending the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
Some 52.6 percent backed strikes on jobs and pay, and nearly 74 backed action short of strikes on a turnout of 34 percent.
More than 64 percent backed strikes to defend their USS pension scheme, and over 82 percent backed action short of a strike on a turnout of more than 36 percent.
These are impressive votes in some difficult circumstances. Lecturers had just days to return their ballot papers after the ballots were delayed – yet still delivered decisive votes for action.
The UCU has led the way in taking on the Tory assault on the public sector. It has shown that the mood to fight back exists.
Other workers should use this example to demand national ballots in their own unions – and aim to co-ordinate strikes across different groups of workers to force the Tories back.