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Open letter of support for a 'yes' vote to balloted union members
Dear UCU and Unison members,

We are students, alumni, and fellow workers. We call on you to vote ‘yes’ to strike action.

Over the last 10 years, workers in Higher Education have seen real-terms pay fall by 21%, a rise in precarious contracts, increased workload and stress, and an unaddressed gender pay gap. Tens of thousands of staff are on either fixed-term or zero hours contracts. Men on average are paid over £5,000 more than women. You face unpaid work of 2 days a week, and workloads that leave workers unable to juggle their lives, families and other responsibilities.

This is the dire state of pay and working conditions in education. The employers have not given that which has been asked for and you are left with no other option but to strike. The employers need to understand that it is you who keep the university running, day-in, day-out.

There will be students who will say that a strike would affect their education. And they are right. However, it does not compare to the damage already inflicted by falling pay, increased casualisation, unpaid work, and unmanageable workloads. Losing the dispute now will affect future students as much as a strike affects current students. The slogan “your working conditions are students’ learning conditions” still rings true.

If staff are turning to a second job because of low pay, or looking for work over the summer instead of preparing their classes due to exploitative contracts, or working unpaid overtime to manage their immense workload, then of course our staff and education will suffer. Wherever you fall on the pay scale, it is important for your fellow workers and the future of education to fight together for better pay and conditions.

Students are forced to engage with university as consumers, to view our lecturers as service providers rather than educators. This is not our reality even if university managers want it to be. Polling during the last strike showed a majority of students supported the strike, and put the blame on management rather than workers for any disruption. As students, we understand you do your best despite the conditions working against you. And you have nothing but our support and solidarity.

It’s not just students on your side. Your strength has inspired the entire labour movement. UCU was one of the first unions to beat the Tories’ ballot threshold. You received support from across the world. And you reinvigorated a student movement battered by decades of marketised reform. This student movement is now more organised, active and confident.

In the last year, we have seen workers organise and strike in places deemed impossible to organise. Cleaners and caterers in universities; McDonalds or Wetherspoons; in the Ministry of Justice or Amazon’s warehouses; workers have been fighting and winning. When we win, we win for everyone. We place those who profit from our labour on the backfoot.

You have our solidarity. Vote ‘yes’ and win what you deserve. We’ll see you on the picket lines.

Signed and we extend our support to Unite members in the event that they ballot to strike,

Sophie Neibig, University of Manchester
Andrew Peak, University of Oxford
Atticus Stonestrom, University of Oxford
Tyrone Falls, Alumnus, Worker, University of Bristol
Jacob Allen, Student, University of Surrey
Tom Zagoria, Alumnus, University of Oxford
Dáire Mag Uidhir, Queen Mary University
Harjeevan Gill, Queen Mary University of London
Joshua Lovell, Student, Alumnus, Worker, University of Cambridge
Tor Duca, University of Exeter
Izzy Clifford, University of Bristol
Aiden Habte, University of Surrey
Jack Kershaw, University College London
Kaja Colin Borgersen Bojer, University of Kent
Melissa Gardiner, University of Bristol
Joseph Maggs, Alumnus, University College London
Ben Towse, Student, University College London, UCU
Obi Saiq, Worker, BECTU/Prospect
Archie Mellor, University of Bath
Ruth Day, University of Bristol
Matthew Lee, Student, University College London, UVW & IWW
Ed Williamson, University of Sheffield
Joanna Phillips, University of Bath
Stan Laight, University of Sheffield
Harriet Carroll, University of Bath
Jake Roberts, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Richard Somervail, Uncontracted supervisory work (PhD student), University College London
Nancy Huang, University of Bristol
Nicoline, University of Aberdeen
Mark Crawford, University College London
Zeid Truscott, University of Bath
Stephen Wise de Jong, University of Exeter
Esther Lutz-Davies, London School of Economics
Ella Wilkinson, University of Wales, Trinity St. David
Alex Kumar, University of Oxford
Sara Pernille Jensen, University of Bristol
Anjum Nahar, University of Bristol
Steff Farley, Student, Worker, University of Loughborough
Conor Haslem, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Sophie Bennett, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
George Buskell, University of Surrey
Maisie, Worker
Iris, University College London
Mia Helene Engeskaug, University of Kent
Dominique Hua, Alumnus, University College London
Alexander Lloyd, University of Sheffield
Caelan Reid, University of Sheffield
Alex Petersen, University of Loughborough
Charlie Porter, University of Sheffield
Becky Larney , King’s College London
Ralph Woods, Alumnus, University of Loughborough
Victor Sievert, Student, Worker, King’s College London
Katherine Jane Brown, University of Bath
Callum Cant, University of West London
Vijay Jackson , University of Edinburgh
Christie Neary, Worker
Ruby Dark, King's College London
Nicholas Hallsworth, Worker
Daniel Davison-Vecchione, Cambridge
Efea Rutlin, University of Manchester
David Bullock, University of Durham
Rufus Jordana, University of Cambridge
Aidan Thawley, Alumnus, University of Leeds
Holly Carter-Rich, University of Manchester
Marcelina, Royal Holloway University
Jessica O'Brien, University of Cambridge
Anna Klieber, University of Sheffield
Dylan Thomson, University of Liverpool
Anabel Bennett, Alumnus, University College London
Dmitri Prieto Samsonov, Student, Alumnus, University College London, London School of Economics
Liam Curran, Worker, University of Reading
Luke Tyers, Student, Worker, University of Bristol
Alex , Student, Worker, University of Bristol
Blue Weiss, University of Oxford
Joshua Chown, University of Surrey
Alex Stuart, University of Surrey
Seth Randall-Goddard, Camberwell College of Arts
Kate Raison, University of Bristol
Evan Amekuedi, University of Bristol
David Sanchez, Alumnus, University College London
Thea Smith, University of Bath
Christian Townsend, University of Sheffield
Josh Berlyne, Alumnus, University of Sheffield
Becky Don, Royal Holloway University of London
Liam Jensen, Royal Holloway University of London
Josie Tothil, Manchester Metropolitan University
Matthew, Royal Holloway University of London
Bahar Mustafa, Worker
Zoë Audra, University of Cambridge and University of Manchester
Samar Khan, University of Bristol
Courtney Fisher, Royal Holloway University of London
Stella Swain. University of Cambridge
Rida Vaquas, University of Oxford
Toby, Royal Holloway University of London
Akanshya Gurung, University of Surrey
Jacob Armstrong, Alumnus, University of Oxford
Jake Davies, University of Oxford
Rory Kent, University of Cambridge
Lola Dickinson, University of Oxford
Dylan Woodward, University of Bristol
Milo Thursfield, University of Oxford
Monty Shield, Worker
Iris Kaye-Smith, Student, University of Oxford
Kieran Marray, Student, University of Oxford
Niall Murphy, Student, Royal Holloway University of London
Ari Baker, Student, Open University
Nicole Esdaile, Student, Loughborough University
Heather, Student, Kings College London
Grace Carroll, Student, University of Bristol
Naomi Miall, Student University of Oxford
Tom Bolitho, Student, Kings College London
Prarthana Krishnan, Alumnus, University of Bristol
Jay Staker, Student, University of Oxford
Laurence Bryant, Worker
Jessica Peach, Student, Manchester Metropolitan University
Aristidis Shukuroglou, Student, University of Reading
Joe Davidson, Student, University of Cambridge
Anisha Faruk, Student, University of Oxford
Justine Canady, Student, University College London, BWAFU
Rebecca Selby, Student, University of Manchester
Finn McKay, Alumnus, University of Leeds
Bradley, Student, Worker, University of Lincoln
Catriona Murray, Student, University of Manchester
Rob Alexander, Student, University of Bristol
Hamish Anderson, Alumnus, School of Oriental and African Studies
Charlotte Edwards, Student, University of Bristol
Ruby Harrop, Student, University College London
Sahaya James, Student, Goldsmiths College University of London
Liz, Student, University of Leicester
Elena Semple, Student, University of Stirling
Alexander Simpson, Student, University of Surrey
Gianamar Giovannetti-Singh, Student, University of Cambridge
Henning Heller, Alumnus, University of Bristol
Alexandra Rowe, Alumnus, University of Cambridge
Siobhan Cloutt, Student, University of Birmingham
Sanaz Raji, Independent Scholar and Activist
Matthew, Alumnus and Worker, University of West England, GMB & PCS
Duncan Michie, Alumnus, University of Sussex, Unite & IWGB
Alison Worden, Student, University of Surrey, Unison
Mark Hagen, Worker, University of Bristol, UCU
Howard Yoohyun Chae, Student, University of Cambridge
Chris Saltmarsh, Alumnus, University of Sheffield
Karolina Pawlak, Student, Royal Holloway University of London
James Foster, Student, University of Bristol
Charlie Mills, Student, Royal Hollway, University of London
Ross Tayler, Student, UCL
J Miller, Student and Worker, University of Cambridge, UCU
Joshua Liepa, Alumnus, University of Exeter
Max Heng, Student, University of Bristol
Jon Bigger, Student, Worker, Loughborough University, UCU
Kierin Offlands, Student, Goldsmiths College University of London, Unite
Magnus, Student, University of Aberdeen
Alice Watkins, Student, Goldsmiths College University of London
Jeroen van Herk, Student, Worker, University of Abertay, Unison
James Morrissey, Student, University of Edinburgh, UCU
Stephanie McDonagh, Alumnus, University of Liverpool
Coby Lee, Alumnus, University College London
Lukas Winterburn, Student, University of Liverpool
Harkan Kirk-Karakaya, Student, University of York
Emily Robinson, Student, Worker, University of Edinburgh, Unite
Rosie Rawle, Student, Queen Mary University of London
Eli Aldridge, Student, University of Sussex
Kate Chidley , Student, University of Liverpool
Jasmita Nahal, Student, Loughborough University
Patrick Edgley, Student, University College London
Charlotte Austin, Student, University of Oxford, IWGB & Unite
Gabriel Hawkins-Pottier, Student, Alumnus, Worker, University of Manchester
Jimmy Thomson, Student, University of Sussex
Freyja Bourke, Student, Queens University Belfast
Peter, Alumnus, Royal Holloway University of London
Claire Sosienski Smith, Sabbatical Women's Officer, University of Cambridge
Esyld Ní Scolaidhe, Student, University of Aberdeen
Kate Litman, Student, University of Cambridge
Agnes Helena Berner, Student, University of Glasgow
Vanessa Wilson, Student, University of Bristol
Connor Moylett, Student, University of Sussex
Jonathan Mitchell, Student, Royal Holloway University of London
Nicolas Fischer, Student, University of Sussex
Victor, Student, University of Glasgow
Rebecca Harrington, Student, Women's Officer, Oxford Brookes University
Oli Carter-Esdale, Student, University of Bristol, UCU
Sarah-Jane Mellin, Student, Worker, University of the West of Scotland
Faidon Papadakis, Student, University College London
Jack Stokes, Student, Royal Holloway University of London
Thomas Marriott, Student, University of Reading
Andy Warren, Worker, PCS
James Steel, Student, University of Surrey
Lawrence Stuart, Alumnus, University of Glasgow
Jamie Tennant, Student, Keele University, GMB
Amy Finch, Student, City University of London
Charlton Jenkins, Student, Royal Holloway University of London
Valentine Baldassari, Alumnus, University of Oxford
Daniel de Wildt, Student, University of Leeds
Emma Teworte, Student, University of Oxford
Emil-Dorian McHale, Student, University of Reading
John Piprani, Worker, University of Manchester, UCU
Lautaro Vilches, Student, University College London

Pete Daw, Former Governor, University of the West of England
Jerome Cox-Strong, University of Reading
Arthur Taylor, Kings College London
Louisa Olympios, University of Manchester
Ky Hall, University of Warwick
Clementine Boucher, Goldsmiths University
Francisco Baiocchi, City University
Simon Neumaier, University of Oxford
Christopher Roche, Alumnus, Worker, University of Bath
James Crosse, Queen Mary University of London
Conor Muller, University of York
Harry Padwal, Royal Holloway University London
Michael Culbert, Student
Tim Cooper, Unite and GMB and former Unison branch secretary
Joe Booth, New City College
Jess Laimann, University of Bristol
Stuart Bennett, Student, Worker, University of Bath
Tomos Evans, Student, Alumnus, Worker, University of Bath
Anthony, University of St Andrews
Eric Taylor, Georgia State University
Karl Howarth, Industrial Workers of the World
Daniel Ball, Alumnus, University of Westminster
Stuart Bennett, Student, Worker, University of Bath
Liam Bolton, University of Sussex
Lois Davies, University of Bristol
Alice Wilson, University of Oxford
Michael James, Alumnus, Open University
Rebecca Yeo, University of Bath
Naziha Hamidouche, University of Bath
Tom Hobson, University of Bath
Matthew Raby, Uni of Manchester
Kelly Rogers, Birkbeck College
Ruby Kelman, University of Edinburgh
Jessica Milton, Bath Spa University

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