John McDonnell has released a video saying UCU strikers have "absolute solidarity" from Labour. Jack Sherwood lays out the next steps
Following on from this, we would like to see this:
Every Constituency Labour Party to:
- Send a mass email to all members urging them to visit the strike picket lines in solidarity, and explaining the dispute
- Lobby their MP or parliamentary candidate (along with local councillors) to attend the picket line and contact the press to explain why they are doing so
- Organise contingents to attend picket lines and rallies with their banner
- Make a large donation or do a large collection for the local UCU strike hardship fund
- Offer a speaker for the local UCU rally
- Invite a UCU striker to speak at a branch meeting, and consider calling an emergency meeting or focussing an upcoming meeting entirely around the state of Higher Education and/or questions of public sector pensions
- Pass a motion of solidarity with the strike at such a meeting
- Publish a public message of solidarity to their local UCU university branch, and promote social media events.
Nationally, Labour Party to:
- Contact all members urging them to visit the strike picket lines in solidarity
- Promise Jeremy Corbyn and other leading figures’ (ie. John McDonnell and Angela Raynor) attendance at any national protest which might be called over the dispute, and their prominent visits to picket lines nearest their constituencies
- Release a prominent briefing on the future of Higher Education that secures much better future conditions and pay for staff, provides for free education, reverses marketisation and makes university management democratically accountable to staff and student bodies
- Make a snappy, powerful and worker-centred social media video highlighting the reasons for the strike, the potential impacts of changes and the need for solidarity
- Consider relevant parliamentary action urgently, such as early day motions highlighting UUK’s lack of respect for the wishes of participants and trustees in the USS pension scheme
- Make a particular point of mobilising to UCU pickets and rallies for International Women's Day (Thursday 8th March) and raise the issue of universities' Gender Pay Gap in public statements
Labour members, councillors and MPs to:
- Endeavour to attend a local picket line or rally before work (from 8am) or at lunchtime
- Share a picture of themselves with an ‘I support the UCU strike’ homemade placard or paper #USSStrike #UCUStrike
- Post in relevant local forums encouraging the same, and discussing the issue
- Put up a poster on their workplace noticeboard supporting the strike
- If they are in a trade union (hopefully should be), or work in a public educational establishment, consider organising a staff/member meeting to discuss supporting the strike.
Come to The Corbyn Moment on March 10th in London - book here.
Jack Sherwood has been an organiser in the People's Assembly and Stop the War.
Based in Bristol, he coordinated the largest demonstrations and public meetings in the city 2014-2019: against austerity, in support of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of Labour, over the Junior Doctors' struggle and against the British bombing of Syria.
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