Brighton J30 strikes report

The June 30th strikes were well observed in Brighton, with the vast majority of schools shut, five picket lines across the city and a huge march and rally through the town centre.

Jobcentre picket: PCS and supporters set up banners & stall at 7am. BBC radio interviewed PCS organiser & interviewer disclosed that he was going to London after to plan future NUJ action. 2 pickets formed, at entrance to Jobcentre and at staff entrance. Approx 10-15 non-union staff arrived early and entered building. A solid picket of 30-40 formed by 8.15, ready for 8.30 opening. Much beeping of car horns and public goodwill. 2 supporters handing out claimants' leaflets were told forecourt is private property and were physically removed by security.

Report back from Oxford Strike Assembly

Friday the 17th of June saw the first Oxford 'Strike Assembly', meeting in advance of the strikes on June 30th to discuss, plan and organise.

We had public and private sector workers, unemployed, self-employed, students and NGO workers attending.

We are holding a morning rally which will go from picket to picket on the 30th: Meet at Gloucester Green at 7.30 am! Pickets are confirmed at Gloucester Green outside the Job Centre and at the Oxford and Cherwell and Valley College on Oxpens, so will be visiting there and other as yet unconfirmed pickets.

Stop work to stop the cuts?

WHAT DOES it take to stop the cuts? June 30th represents the first co-ordinated strike action against austerity, under the pretext of defending pensions, due to the legal restrictions on joint strikes. But how do hundreds of thousands of people stopping work help stop the government?

At first glance, it might not seem to make sense. Cuts, we are told, are a response to a struggling economy. So why try and harm the economy by shutting large parts of it down for the day? But turn the question around, and what other option do we have?

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 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.

Pensions under threat

Divide and rule game looks to undermine private and public sector workers' retirements

The number of people with final salary pensions in the private sector has declined dramatically in recent years.  There are now only 3.6 million private sector employees in company pensions and many of those are in middle and upper management. The savaging of private company pensions has left millions more dependent on the meagre basic state pension in old age, a state pension that an OECD report published in June 2009, found to be one of the worst in the developed world with income on average just 31% of pre-retirement earnings.