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We support UCU strike action

“We support our lecturers…the goal is a Higher Education system that values education before commerce”

The University and Colleges Union (UCU) are balloting for strike action on job security, real terms pay cuts, and pensions until Wednesday 2nd March.

Following agreement by students at the Annual General Meeting, Students’ Union Council and the Union’s Operations Committee, we’ve agreed to support lecturers’ right to strike. We need to stand by our lecturers and staff members and keep hold of the collegial relationship that underpins our University.

The new fee regime moves the University into the marketplace and the proposed attacks on working conditions from the University are consistent with a profiteering business-model that puts financial surplus before people. The University of Sussex has always excelled as a University driven by the partnership between students and lecturers and we must stand by our lecturers in the face of potential strike action.

We recognise industrial action might affect courses and classes in the short term, but the goal is much greater than an extra lecture or seminar; the goal is a Higher Education system that values education before commerce, that values students and lecturers as free academic agents, not customers and service providers. If industrial action, as part of a wider anti-cuts strategy, is not taken now, we risk losing even more lecturers, courses and even departments.

We recognise that this attack on pay and pensions is part of a wider assault on Higher Education, an assault that has removed unprecedented levels of public funding away from the University, an assault that has raised the tuition fee cap up to £9,000.

In order to reverse the Coalition’s education cuts, we need to implement a wide variety of tactics locally and nationally and this includes industrial action.

So let’s send a loud and clear message to lecturers across campus; we support your right to strike, we know a united front is a winning one.

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