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Starmer 'should be backing staff, not bosses'

6 July 2023

Responding to Labour leader Keir Starmer's interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

'Today Keir Starmer was given an opportunity to show support for university staff engaged in industrial action but instead chose to undermine them. UCU members are fighting for a sector that properly values staff, and we are proud to have the overwhelming support of students. The leader of the Labour Party should be backing staff, not bosses. He needs to recognise that the status quo in UK higher education is damaging and call on employer body UCEA to settle the dispute, not condemn staff fighting for the future of higher education. 

'University staff have been forced to take this action because successive governments have failed to properly fund higher education. His Mission Opportunity needs to have staff and students at the centre of it. That can't happen while the system is broken. If Starmer is serious about supporting students, he needs to stop lecturing the staff that work so hard on their behalf, pledge to reform the funding model of higher education and immediately recommit to abolishing the toxic tuition fee system, which condemns millions to a lifetime of debt.'  

Last updated: 6 July 2023