Friday email image - Times front page

The Friday email: 23 February 2018

The fight of our lives: stunning start to USS pensions strike

This week's spectacular and unprecedented strike action over USS pensions has already shocked the sector, brought universities to a standstill and left the employers reeling and divided with 15 vice-chancellors now breaking ranks and calling for negotiations.

The whole union has thrown its weight behind the action and support has been pouring in from students, other unions, politicians and the wider movement. Over 3000 new members have joined UCU in the last seven days and our membership team report a further 2000 to be processed. Press and media coverage has been huge and our strikes and rallies are having a real impact. Now we need to keep up the pressure to force the employers stop the attack on your pensions.

  • Stay on strike and if you're not at one of the affected universities please support the action
  • Donate to the fighting fund - please share and ask friends, family and colleagues to help make sure we can support our members experiencing hardship
  • Send in your strike photos and reports for our UCU Strike live! wall of support.

Strike action to hit colleges as members demand: better pay and better jobs

Further education staff are also fighting for a fair deal and members at 13 London colleges and Sandwell College in Birmingham will be asked to walk out over pay on Wednesday 28 February and Thursday 1 March. Staff at Sunderland College will walk out on 28 February while negotiations are ongoing at Sussex College Hastings. The overwhelming support for strike action at these colleges shows the depth of anger about continued attempts to hold down pay in further education.

London region UCU has organised a march and rally for education next Wednesday 28 February, uniting campaigns for pay and pensions in both sectors. Speakers include UCU general secretary Sally Hunt, NUS president Shakira Martin, Gordon Marsden MP, John McDonnell MP and speakers from other unions.  Assemble 12 noon, ULU, Malet Street, WC1.

Last updated: 23 February 2018