Academics and the defence of their universities

Luke Martell An inspiring Convention for Higher Education in Brighton has made an important step forward, discussing what the public university should be, and investigating the implications of its marketisation. Universities in England have introduced sky-high tuition fees. Inequalities will escalate. Private providers are working their way in, with government support. Competition between universities more […]

UCU votes to suspend action over pensions.

Yesterday the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) held a special conference to determine where we go next in our pensions dispute. For those who haven’t been following the intricacies of it all I’ll attempt to briefly lay out where we were going into this meeting. UCU represents academic and what’s known as academic related staff […]

Don’t give up the pensions fight

Today Unison signed a heads of agreement with the government over changes to NHS pensions. The agreement still needs approval from Unison’s health committee (and potentially the membership directly) and the full details aren’t yet public, but the guardian report: Unison’s head of health, Christine McAnea, said the offer contained some concessions from the government, […]

Occupy to Support the Strikes.

On November 23rd students at universities across the country occupied their institutions as part of a day of action called by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. Here we repost an initial statement from the Edinburgh Occupation. We are now occupying Appleton Tower, in support of the UCU strike on Wednesday November 30, against […]

On Strikes, Action Short of a Strike and the Meaning of Solidarity.

Today staff in the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) begin a campaign of action short of a strike as the first phase of an attempt to force universities management back to the negotiating table over changes to pension plans. The dispute (which, earlier this year, already resulted in several days of strike action) concerns the […]

Unions and students step up fight to save education

The fight to save public education in the UK took a step forward this week as two more unions declared ballot results in favour of strike action this Autumn. Yesterday the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) announced a programme of escalating action short of a strike beginning on October 10th over attacks on pensions. In […]

250,000 people on benefits to lose access to free education.

If you want to be educated don’t be poor, don’t be from an ethnic minority, don’t be disabled and don’t be a woman. That’s essentially the message from new research by the Association of Colleges (AoC) published today which showed that 250,000 people currently on benefits could be priced out of education. A survey from […]


So, here we are. Today we will see the biggest day of action yet against the cuts. The average civil servant recieves a pension of £5023. It’s no wonder public sector workers are fighting against massive cuts to this entitlement. And so it’s no wonder that 48% support them, while only 36% don’t. This is […]

No to de-recognition at Robert Gordon University

Robert Gordon University, in Aberdeen, recently terminated it’s recognition agreements with both the University and Colleges Union (UCU) and Unite. UCU were immediately derecognised, while Unite, owing to a slightly different agreement, were given 6 months notice. The university claimed, in a letter to Unite, that going forward they required a more “effective and efficient […]

Help save Colombian academic Dr Miguel Beltrán.

This afternoon I received a letter from Sally Hunt, general secretary of my union – UCU, asking me to help support Colombian academic and political prisoner Dr Miguel Beltrán. Dr Beltrán was arrested in Mexico, where he was a post-doctoral researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and illegally extradited to Colombia in May […]

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