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.
As a syndicalist union, we advocate horizontal decision-making with transparency and control of disputes directly in the hands of members. Our union, small that it is, operates on an assembly basis - all decisions are taken by the membership with immediate effect. This enables us to be more agile than the larger unions who struggle with inevitable bureaucracy and hierarchies. We also seek to unite all workers in a workplace. At a number of universities, several groups of workers have come out on strike at the same time. Just as often, however, we find ourselves having to cross fellow workers' picket lines as we are not on strike that day - how powerful a democratic, horizontal and unitary union would be across all the artificial divides of the workplace that operate today.
The graph attached highlights that the education sector have not been as well served by their unions as others in the public sector. The current strike wave is encouraging but we need one, militant union that is prepared to go further. We are that union. Join SFEU today!