The latest news and analysis from SF locals

Management attempts at intimidation will fail

The Solidarity Federation Education Union (SFEU) utterly condemns Leeds University management’s contemptuous disregard for the nationally agreed strike protocols in threatening 100% wage deductions for "partial performance" of duties and in demanding that cancelled lectures be somehow replaced in the future. A strike by definition means the withholding of our labour, not simply re-arranging that labour to another day. Staff members are not paid when they strike - replacing cancelled lectures just adds to the unpaid workload that caused staff to strike in the first place and dilutes the impact of the industrial action.

SFEU statement on upcoming strikes

In a recent informal UCU poll, over 80% of those who voted, declared their opposition to the latest employers' offer. This offer, while it did represent some improvement on pay, did little to reassure University and College workers on the question of historical pay decline and on issues such as casualisation. The strike continues and we must force UCEA to come up with a much better deal. Education workers will stay out till they do.

Bristol SF solidarity message with striking teachers

The NEU have overcome restrictive anti-union laws with planned strike action to happen over 7 days in February and March. Although 88% of voters said yes to strike action, oppressive laws mean that teachers and support staff had to be balloted separately. Additionally, members in England also had to be balloted separately to those in Wales. And on top of that, each ballot needed greater than 50% turn out to be lawful. Resultingly, teachers and support staff in Wales met the statutory requirements to strike; in England, teachers did but support staff did not. These legal barriers are there to diminish the effectiveness of workplace organising as industrial action is a direct threat to state interests and worker exploitation.

Solidarity with the Strikers!

SFEU supports the upcoming Further and Higher Education strikes, due to begin on 1 February and to be spread over 18 days between then and the end of March. This is a welcome escalation and our best bet for a positive outcome (short of an all-out strike). This wave of strike action will seriously disrupt teaching right at the beginning of the new semester and beyond, but the key issues of growing casualization, wage theft, pension degradation and untenable workloads remain unresolved, universities need to be held to account. If our voices are still not heard, we need to get behind and implement the marking and assessment boycott, timed for maximum effect in May and June. 

We also encourage individuals to organise locally to tackle these problems, communicate with your colleagues who face the same conditions - strength in numbers gets results.

IWA Congress XXVIII & Centenary

IWA Congress XXVIII & Centenary

The International Workers’ Association (IWA) unites anarcho-syndicalist organisations from around the world, improving communication and building solidarity across borders, against capitalism and the state. The Solidarity Federation is the British section of the IWA. In December 2022 the IWA held its 28th Congress in Alcoy, Spain - bringing together delegates from thirteen countries.

Brighton SolFed wins housing dispute with local letting agent

A tenant renting with a major local letting agent won back the entirety of their “0 deposit” charges after two pickets of the letting agency. A member of Brighton SolFed recently moved out of their rented property and was hit with a number of absurd end of tenancy charges. They had entered into a “0 deposit” tenancy, managed by a third party company who were chasing up our member for these costs. Disgracefully, the company were charging a significant fee just to challenge these costs, which forced our member into paying these charges, despite disagreeing with them all. 

Grading dispute at a University in Wales

Grading dispute at a University in Wales

According to a UCU report, the university sector has been systematically trying to downgrade roles amongst its academic staff in an attempt to save money i.e. expecting a Grade 6 to do work previously done by a Grade 7.

A comrade at a university in Wales is taking direct action in the form of a work to rule by following the published HERA role and person profiles which set out quite clearly the responsibilities of each grade. At present, rather than re-grading the role to a 7, one by one the Grade 7 duties are now officially being removed. The hope is these successes will encourage collective action by the other Grade 6’s.