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March, 2011:

Strike Action Today

Our branch, along with the national UCU, is taking a day of strike action today, the 24th March.
To learn more about the reasons for us striking, click here

We will be picketing our sites between 8am and 12 noon today before heading up to the rally at the University of Liverpool, starting in University Square. Please support our pickets today!

Details on the local strike can be found here

Liverpool Students’ Union issue message of support

LSU have issued a much-appreciated message of support for our strike action on Thursday. The message is available at their website:
http://www.l-s-u.com/news/index.php?page=article&news_id=244283

We all very much welcome the students’ support and hope that they can support us at our pickets.

Liverpool Students’ Union supports UCU, the academic staff’s trade union, as they protest on the national day of action on Thursday 24th March against the impact of cuts in higher education.

Lecturers across the UK are facing attacks on their pensions and, with all public sector workers, high and increasing inflation which will lead to real cuts in their pay. The added uncertainty of job-security in a time of harsh and unfair cuts from Government means that academic staff are under incredible stress and strain.

We want academic staff, now and in the future, to be working in a secure and well-rewarded profession. They are the most important people in a students’ learning experience. This day of protest will bring students and staff together to demand respect and support for higher education and we hope that Government and Universities realise the risks in dangerous cuts.

We have asked UCU to make sure that students are not innocent victims in protests this week and in the coming months. We’re pleased that UCU have confirmed that they will ask members participating in the protests to explain to students what they are doing in advance and try to find a way to rearrange the missed contact. We’re also pleased that UCU have put pressure on the Vice-Chancellor to transfer all money saved, through not paying staff participating in the protest, into the student hardship fund.

Students take Action NOW!

1. Support UCU at their pickets on Thursday 24th March from 8am – 12pm
2. Join LSU, LGOS and Hope Students Union on the TUC marching for an alternative on Saturday 26th March in London. Bus tickets are on sale from LSU reception at the Haigh building. They cost £10 but when students attend, they get £5 back.

Strike Action called for 24th March

Members in both FE and HE have voted to take strike action in defence of the Teachers Pension Fund. In FE, 76% voted to take strike action (turnout 28%). In HE Post 92 Universities in England and Wales 72% supported strikes (turnout 32.1%)∙

Strike action on TPS has now been called for 24th March, to join the final, UK day, of USS strikes. We will send further communications with TPS members as 24th March approaches.

Yesterday 64% of FE members in England also voted for strike action (turnout 28.5%) in a dispute about the 2010 salary negotiations. This follows the vote by 52% of HE members (turnout 34%) to take strike action in their dispute about pay and job security.

FE and HE Officers have now called a day of strike action on these claims, also on 24th March.

Public Sector Pension Report

The Indepedent Public Service Pensions Commision (“Hutton”) Report is out:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pensionscommission

Looking for the positives, (John) Hutton has carried over his interim conclusions that public sector pensions are NOT “Gold Plated”, and rejected a tit-for-tat “race to the bottom”. In the final document, it looks like this:-
The Commission firmly rejected the claim that current public service pensions are ‘gold plated.’ The average pension paid to pensioner members is around £7,800 per year, while the median payment is around £5,600. It also rejected the idea of a ‘race to the bottom,’ emphasising instead that public service pensions should ensure adequate retirement incomes for those who have devoted their careers in the service of the wider community.
The preamble also includes a copy of the initial findings of (Will) Hutton’s Fair Pay review.

However, it’s not all good news. Some early press reports, including “soundbite” feedback from the GSs of TUC, PCS, FBU. If you’re short of time, the BBC articles give a good “scene setting” overview, while the Independent and FT provide two reasonably balanced assessment pieces. The FT article ends on a surprisingly labour-friendly note(!)

Public sector pensions report explained (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11466273

Pensions anger from unions following Hutton review (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12703232

Public Sector Pension Plan Spark Strike Threats (Independent, PA syndicated) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/public-sector-pension-plan-sparks-strike-threats-2237827.html

Hutton reveals his pension plan – and is blasted by unions (Guardian, GMG) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/mar/10/hutton-pensions-reform-unions

High-wire act fails to balance public and private (FT) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bc5a7f38-4b54-11e0-b2c2-00144feab49a.html#axzz1GEgrz4TZ

UCU Liverpool Hope Petition

Please support our fellow members facing redundancy at Liverpool Hope and sign the UCU petition at
www.ucu.org.uk/supportlhu