As the number of management teams at Universities across the country show their willingness to re-open negotiations in order to limit the damage of the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) currently underway, there are some institutions that continue to threaten 100% reductions for "partial performance" of work. In the past, this kind of employer's lockout, when bosses refuse to pay you for any work done, has been upheld by the courts. Here at SFEU, the anarcho-syndicalist union in education, we would be surprised if the courts would act any differently - the courts do not reflect our interests but those of the people who control society in their benefit.
At one university, Leeds, where we have members who are academics, support staff and students, the response has been for an indefinite strike starting on Thursday 15th June. We support this. One problem, however, of the UCU strategy has been the inability to share much information promptly across the membership - as in many universities this has been because managers, who are members of this union, would get wind of the plans to disrupt normal working procedures. The limitations of the social democratic unions are thus clear: we need to organise across and within our class and have no truck with managers who only act against us. We stand in solidarity with Unison members, due to take strike action in many centres across the country. We also favour continued non-cooperation with managers and the structure of the universities that permit such outrageous and flagrant attacks against our working conditions.
Let's build for a truly unified trade union movement on the basis of the direct control of our struggles, no managers and solidarity across the great divides in the workplace. We have a world to win.