Wed, 23/11/2022 - 17:56

Solidarity with Education Strikes

The Solidarity Federation Education Union (SFEU), will be standing with colleagues this week as we see staff at Universities and Colleges across the country striking in protest at worsening pay and pension provision. This action follows last month’s overwhelming ‘yes’ vote in a series of national ballots. After more than 8 in 10 of those voting, voted for action, the 24, 25 and 30 November may see as many as 70,000 UCU members on strike.

On some university campuses, strikes by UNISON and Unite have also been called. At the University of Leeds, for example, UNISON will strike for seven continuous days between 24 and 30 November. This is all good news in developing resistance against management's continued attempts to destroy our pensions and to continue to hold back on, or not to fulfil speedily enough, promises regarding equality and short-term contracts.

As a unitary union that organises workers from all sectors of education across traditional divides, we support this action as a collective step in the fight back over our worsening pay, pensions and general conditions.

We also support solidarity between different sectors of workers who are currently fighting the same kind of erosion in pay and conditions, from health workers through to firefighters. Our strength lies in our power to resist attacks by bosses and governments alike (even those supposedly on the left).

The current trade unions, however, often divide workers according to place of work and their job within the workplace; our syndicalist union unites all workers to fight for improvements now and for a cooperative and equal society in the future. Currently, workers from different unions sometimes coincide by declaring action on the same day, at others, we are faced by the ludicrous situation of having to cross picket lines or to see other workers crossing our own. Surely the best approach is one union that can coordinate action and effectively shut down the workplace? This is the direction that SFEU wants to move in. As we do, we have no paid officials, just workers who support each other through organising, education, mutual aid and plain old solidarity.

Solidarity Federation Education Union (SFEU), Organising Committee, Leeds