Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Sussex University UCU union pre-strike rally Weds 17 March- support by lecturers and students. Sally Hunt (UCU leader) and Dave Hill address the rally

Sussex University lecturers' union UCU voted by a large majority recently to go on strike against management's threatened 116 job cuts. Today's rally was attended by a hundred or so lecturers supported by a hundred or so Stop the Cuts students campaigners. Speakers included Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU union, Dave Hill, UCU activist and parliamentary candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition for Brighton Kemptown, plus other speakers giving solidarity- including Tom Hickey, chair of the Brighton University UCU branch, and Tom EWills, Sussex University Students Union president.

Dave Hill said `Sussex University students are leading the way nationally in acting to stop the cuts. Now Sussex University UCU, together with Leeds University UCU, have both voted to take strike action to stop the cuts. UCU estimates that over the next 3 years 15,000 jobs at universities and colleges across the country are under threat- not just lecturers, but porters, secretaries, admin staff, cleaners- all sorts of workers- faced with job cuts unless there is solidarity in opposing them! Students and Woekers, Unite and Fight!' Dave supported calls for an inquiry into the actions of management in suspending `the Sussex Six' students who were among those who staged an occupatuion of university admin buildings. He also called for an inquiry into the actions of management in calling in the riot police, with dogs and batons, to dispers the students at that occupation. Management had pretended there was  hostage situation! Despite students inviting staff to leave!. Unacceptable provocation by management! Stop the Cuts!