Sunday, 4 July 2010
Positive Fightbacks at Universities
From time to time I have reported in History & Social Action News on problems facing Universities. In the last issue (No. 26 – I reported the latest developments with the Department of Philosophy at Middlesex University.) A reader draws my attention to a victory in Scotland. www.heraldscotland.com/news/education/strike-averted-after-u-turn-by-university-1.1037036. The 'interesting thing here is that it shows the effectiveness of classic, four-square orthodox trade union activity: the trade unions at Glasgow drew a clear line in the sand saying the job cuts were unacceptable, effectively organised a ballot for industrial action, but also kept negotiations in place to allow a negotiated outcome avoiding compulsory redundancies.' Similar tactics have proved worthwhile elsewhere eg UCL, Leeds:www.london-student.net/2010/05/16/ucl-staff-claim-victory-following-strike-negotiationswww.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Leeds-University-strike-called-off.6101459.jp'Examples to bear in mind as the Coalition cuts start to bite over the next few months!'