education

Training Organisers in the Education Industry

In preparation for the upcoming June 30th strike, yesterday saw the North London Solidarity Federation host an organiser training specifically designed for workers and students in the education industry.

Coming out of a public meeting hosted by NLSF last month, militant education workers and radical students opted to have a training geared toward their specific issues. For SF it was the first time we attempted to tailor our training for students and all agreed it was a success. While the issues varied from participant to participant—from making sure June 30th is a success to planning occupations—everyone left the training with an increased sense of confidence and strategy to take back to their schools on Monday morning.

All out for June 30th! - report back on the public meeting

Last night, Saturday the 21st of May, saw upwards of thirty people attend a public meeting on the upcoming June 30th education and civil service strikes. Hosted by the North London Solidarity Federation, the meeting was very practically focused. Attendees talked about their particular workplace or uni situation and highlighted strategies and tactics which have helped them to organize at work and/or begin talking to their co-workers or fellow students about June 30th and why they shouldn't cross picket lines. We discussed what sorts of momentum-building actions could be undertaken in the run-up to June 30th that will ensure education workers and students are not only aware of the issues but feel empowered and confident enough take strike action.

Solidarity with Shorefields College

On Wednesday 11th May, teachers at Shorefields College in the Dingle took strike action in response to plans to turn the college into an academy. Parents and teachers are opposed to the plans, but are not being listened to by the headteacher or board of governors.

The picket line outside the school saw a significant turnout of teachers as well as those such as the Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts and members of Liverpool Solidarity Federation who came to demonstrate support. There was a short march locally and a rally after the initial picket line, and reports are that spirits were high and support from people locally was strong.

Solidarity from CNT Tenerife

On Friday 7th of Febuary, a group of sixteen students and workers of our sister anarcho-syndicalist union in spain, the CNT, held a protest infront of the british consulate in the capital of tneerife in canary islands. This was their first action of solidarity with british students against the cuts in eduaction.

The comrades handed out information to everyone in the street during that morning, but promised this would not be their last action of solidarity. On Friday 25th of march, the Tenerife comrades protested inside the local university, “Campus Guajara”, a day before the TUC demo in London. They have plans of action for the coming week.

On the university picket lines

Today, Liverpool Solidarity Federation visited the UCU picket lines in Liverpool City Centre to show our support for those coming out on strike.

Whereas Tuesday's strike had been over attacks on pensions, today's was in protest at the threats to members' jobs. An 80% cut in teaching budgets from the government means that 40,000 jobs are at risk. This represents not only an attack on jobs but also on the education sector as a whole, as pickets were keen to stress when they handed leaflets to students urging them not to attend lectures.

One picket on Brownlow Hill told us that the area was a lot quieter than it would normally be first thing in the morning. There had been good support from UCU members, however by the same token the density of non-union members amongst the staff meant that there were still people going in to teach.

Solidarity on the picket lines at Sussex university

As part of a national strike day, members of UCU at Sussex university have been picketing. They were joined by other education workers and students at the entrance to campus who expressed their support for industrial action. 

UCU are involved in a series of rolling strikes across the UK which started last week in Scotland and culminate in a FE and HE strike on Thursday. Strikes are nominally over changes to the pension scheme, however at Sussex it was clear that strikers see this as part of the wider fight against austerity. This was also in evidence from the solidarity from students and education workers well beyond the UCU membership.