The campaign has started – ballot opens today. I went to visit London South Bank Uni (LSBU) and handed out some leaflets to a few members who were happy to take some away and give to their work-mates.
Then after work I went to a campaign meeting against the cuts at LSBU.
It had a good feel about it, with lots of debate over tactics; when and how to build a successful campaign against the cuts.
Some felt that LSBU was under a special threat and has some sort of a guinea-pig status, which sounded familiar: only yesterday we’d put out a joint union statement rubbishing the rumours about an imminent threat of bankruptcy of London Met Uni.
I spoke in the meeting about our experience and the need to forge unity between support staff (UNISON), teaching staff (UCU), and students – our key strength at LondonMet is that unity. Got a warm round of applause, of course :)
There was a further discussion about linking up with ‘outside groups’ and community activists such as the Latin American workers association, the local Save our Services group, Education Activist Network, and the CAFC. I also raised one of the strengths of the campaign at Tower Hamlets college last year, which mobilised large local demonstrations and they proved a key weapon in their (successful) fight.
The campaign against cuts at South Bank has the potential to be one of the livelier, key campaigns on campus this year. Watch this space for some kind of action on 12 October.
If we are going to win our struggles against cuts to pay, jobs and services, UNISON must unite with students and UCU, putting aside differences. Why, for example, isn’t UNISON also supporting the National Demo on 10th November against Education cuts?
Tomorrow: Living Wage Campaign Lobby at UCL.