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Lecturers picketing at Bradford Uni

There was a good mood as around 20 pickets enjoyed the sun on Tuesday 22nd March as they struck over attempts by employers to attack their pensions. Warm greetings were received from lecturers at Bradford College (the main part of which is situated next to the University) as well as others on the picket lines, with an much quieter campus behing them, showing both the anger over this and other attacks on pensions as well as the general mood of support for strike action.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Dr Gary Slater, Co-President of Bradford University UCU (University and College Union – representing mostly academic staff) spoke to us.

“We’re striking today to force the employers back into talks about the pensions. The USS scheme which is under attack covers both academic and academic related staff, such as librarians, computer technicians, HR officers, finance officers. It even covers the Vice-Chancellor.”

“There’s a lot of anger because the employers didn’t put proposals on pension changes to a vote to all USS institutions, the union has and members have overwhelmingly rejected the changes. At Bradford 94% voted against the changes which is clear opposition.”

“Today’s turnout for the strike has been the best for years, we’ve managed to have 4 picket lines, 3 at the main campus and one at the School of Management. But we’re bacl out again alongside all other FE and HE institutions over this and the other issues of job security. For most members that will be all about job security, we aim to force the employers to establish a national framework to prevent job losses.”