- semi-freeze on recruitment
- an overtime ban
- cutting salaries
- voluntary severance scheme
None of these proposals have been negotiated with the unions on campus. Management have also hinted that this is only "phase 1" of a larger cost-cutting strategy and that "phase 2" will be much worse. We can't let it get to that. It's time to fightback and show them that we aren't going to take this lying down! We need united direct action across sectors and between staff and students.
- The university is obligated (by law) to initiate an impact assessment on any budgetary changes that are likely to effect its stakeholders. This has not been done.
- There has been a precedent of harassment and bullying of staff to encourage them to accept a voluntary severance scheme. Voluntary severance is also different from redundancies in that you have less legal protection and you are not entitled to state benefits or to make insurance claims once you have left your job.
- Workload/quality of teaching: many departments depend on overtime to provide extra services for their students (especially more vulnerable ones). Posts that are being vacated are not likely to be replaced which means an increased workload for everyone and a decline in quality of teaching.
- Section 5B of the voluntary severance scheme states that you basically have to forfeit your severance pay to gain access to any pension scheme you have invested into.
- The overtime ban will have a disproportionate impact on lower waged staff. Security personnel, canteen workers and campus support depend on overtime to avoid poverty wages.
There are increasing demands for united action across the public services in defence of pay, conditions and jobs. This is necessary as unity is strength. Sectionalism is the great historical weakness of the unionised working class. We need united action in every workplace - regardless of the sectional divisions or diverse union membership.
One of the most famous international examples of a call for a united working class fightback - for mutual defence, short term gains and ultimately the final victory in the class war - was the call of Industrial Workers of the World: the IWW or Wobblies as they came to be known. The Wobblies formed in the USA in 1905 inscribed on their banners the call for ONE BIG UNION of the working class, nationally and internationally. The IWW succeeded in organising sections that were seen as unreachable by the mainstream US unions of the day. They had some great successes, not least in creating a fertile culture of resistance and worker’s unity across trades, industries, races, creeds and left-wing ideologies.
The history, songs and writing of the IWW live on as proud examples of what our class can achieve. Despite suffering greatly as a result of the two world wars and the slander and repression directed against anyone seen as being “on the left” during the Cold War, the IWW lived on to fight in the current era of globalisation. Now the union is coming into its own again - faced with a labour market in many parts of the world with similarities to that of it’s first heyday in the USA.
The IWW is growing steadily and surely, with new branches being chartered in the USA, Canada, Germany and elsewhere. One of the most startling rates of growth has been in the UK with it’s cut-throat labour market and the political and social vacuum following the rise of “New Labour”. The IWW now has general membership branches springing up throughout Britain. It has industrial organizing efforts in a number of workplaces.
Why the IWW?
We are a grassroots and democratic union helping to organise all workers in all workplaces. The IWW differs from traditional trade unions. We believe that workers have a greater voice if we are organised within our own industries. For example teachers, cleaners, secretaries who work in a school should be classed as education workers. Our aim is to see society re-organised to meet the interests of all people and not just shareholders and corporations.
We are NOT:
- Full of stiffling bureaucracy or linked to any political party or group.
- Led by fat cat salary earners who carry out deals with bosses behind your back.
- Going to sell you services, life insurance or cresit cards.
- Led by the membership. We al make the decisions and we all have the final say.
- For uniting all workers across trades, industries and countries.
- Able to offer practical support for members in their workplace.
- Flexible so you are still a member even when you change jobs or contract.
Who is the IWW for?
We are for ALL workers who do not have the power to hire or fire. This also includes workers who are retired, students, unemployed, part-time, temporary or those working at home. Workers who are members of other unions are also welcome.
To join the IWW visit our website of contact us directly:
www.iww.org.uk Email: email@example.com