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Support from Students & Doctors!!

Ahead of strike action on Wednesday and Thursday this week, we are very grateful for the message of solidarity and support we have been receiving from students and workers in Bath and the South West. A couple:

Junior Doctors in the South West

“We would like to express our solidarity with UCU members on strike. Austerity and cuts to health and education affect us all, as do the government’s attacks on workers’ rights. We have been wonderfully supported by workers’ unions during our ongoing dispute and would like to offer support in return in your dispute. We wish you luck and hope you reach a speedy resolution.

Severn Junior Doctors’ Pressure Group (1600+ members)

Students at University of Bath

“Dear staff,

We understand that many of you are considering taking strike action on May 25-26th, and wanted to let you know how we feel about the situation. You may be surprised to hear what students at Bath think.

Strike action negatively impacts our education and we would rather it did not need to happen. However, we recognise that the effects are far less damaging than a university and higher education sector where staff are underpaid, demoralised and taken for granted.

We are embarrassed to attend a University that has more staff on zero hour contracts than any other in the country, and where senior managers are receiving inflation-busting pay rises year after year while those who teach and support us are repeatedly given real-terms pay cuts. We also believe the gender pay gap is a very serious issue that universities should be actively working to end.

We have spoken to some staff who are concerned that students will feel let down if you strike. On the contrary, many of us will appreciate you all the more for it.

Our Student Union and NUS also support your strike and have both released statements, which are linked to below.

Student and staff solidarity and unity is particularly important in light of the privatisation plans in the HE white paper. A privatised Higher Education sector would hurt us all, students and staff, and we must not allow ourselves to be divided.

Please take this opportunity to stand up for the education that we deserve and that we know you want to provide. We ask that you join your colleagues in strike action on May 25-26th, either by joining or by not crossing the picket lines.

Bath Student Union Statement: http://www.bathstudent.com/news/article/busu/Industrial-Action-the-Students-Unions-stance-and-how-this-impacts-you/

NUS Statement: http://www.nusconnect.org.uk/articles/nus-supports-ucu-strike-action-fairpayinhe

A list of [over one hundred and twenty] signatories has been attached to this message.”

Letter published online by Bath Students Against Fees and Cuts.

Message of support from Nigel Costley, South West TUC Regional Secretary

“University academics in the University & College Union (UCU) will be taking strike action on Wednesday 25 May and Thursday 26 May in support of a demand for a pay rise of 5% and a commitment to tackle the gender pay gap and casualisation in higher education. The pay of lecturers has fallen in real terms by 14.5% since 2009 whereas surpluses made by universities have grown by 43% and reserves have risen by 57%. The pay of Vice-Chancellors has sky-rocketed with the average salary now standing at £272,000. University employers are offering an increase of 1.1% (up from an initial offer of 1%). Action short of a strike will also commence on Wednesday 25 May if an acceptable offer is not made at the next negotiating meeting on May 18. UCU branches would welcome members of other unions on their picket lines.

Nigel

Nigel Costley
South West TUC Regional Secretary”

 

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