Liverpool University management are proposing to issue dismissal notices (and re-engage on worse contracts) to 2,803 non-academic staff. They want to remove time off in lieu agreements and to require working out of normal hours without pay and with no limit on hours worked.
The UCU ballot for industrial action started on 22 July and will continue into September, the agreed aim at membership meetings is to plan for strike action in September.
Three well attend UCU meetings, a successful rally, over 7,000 signing a UCU petition and 600 professors condemning the attack in a letter to the Time Higher Education shows what fair minded people think of the attack.
The university tries to con staff into thinking issuing dismissal notices is nothing more than normal consultation, they would dearly love this misinformation to accepted, but telling workers “if you do not accept our proposals we are going sack you” is not negotiation, it is intimidation.
The attack is the first of its type in any university in the UK, and is therefore of national significance. The management are trying to create a new system of management where they can change contracts at will.
This is the “contribution” of the University to the cuts the Tories, with the invaluable help of the Labour Party, are making to public services that the British working class need to live full lives. In doing this, they send the same message we hear every day from the government and the Labour: “Save the country, kill yourself”.
These cuts are being driven by the Vice Chancellor Sir Howard Newby. Newby confirmed that any member of staff who rejects the new contract will be dismissed. He earns approximately £300,000 per annum, he receives a Victorian lodge in Sefton Park free of charge, and has many other free benefits.
But management are unsettled by the determination of the UCU and they “offered” to give 45 days further consultation without withdrawing the proposal to issue the dismissal notices. The UCU have rejected this attempt of the management to only change the date of dismissals.
Unfortunately, Unite and Unison’s leadership stepped back and decided to postpone the start of their ballots.
The university says it champions standards of excellence research and teaching, but in its human resources management and industrial relations it is following the road of imposing draconian capitalist measures, no doubt trying to open the university to deeper working with the private market, which it has been doing in other ways since the 1990s.
We, from ISL, congratulate the UCU decision and are at the service of the workers to be successful in this struggle. For this, it is necessary to ask the members of Unite and Unison to make pressure on their leadership to take united industrial actions with UCU, and to hold joint assemblies to discuss the best ways of fighting together. It is necessary to prepare for a longer fight, because one day strikes may be not enough to win.
Stop the management’s intentions to make the workers pay for the crisis. We think this is part of a social war willonly go to a favourable conclusion only if working class makes one fight, because we have a common enemy: the capitalists and their government.
That is why we support the call for a general strike. The TUC approved it in September 2012. Now we want them to name the day.