Open letter regarding University and College Union (UCU) industrial action over pension cuts
We, the undersigned, state the following:

1. We oppose all cuts to higher education.
2. We stand in full solidarity with UCU members who are entirely justified in taking industrial action to resist the pension cuts, due to begin 22nd February.
3. We recognise the cuts to pensions represent further commodification and casualisation of higher education, which is detrimental to both students and staff.
4. Universities UK, an umbrella body behind the pension cuts, are fully aware of and responsible for the negative effects of the pension cuts, including some staff losing out on £200, 000 over the course of their retirement.
5. The industrial action has the potential to negatively impact students’ education.
6. Full responsibility for any negative impact on students’ education rests solely with UUK for refusing to meet the demands of UCU.
6. Vice Chancellors and senior management have a duty of care to both students and staff.

In light of the above, we demand that:

1. UUK immediately accept the demands, in full, of the UCU.
2. All Vice Chancellors and senior management at the affected universities immediately resolve to follow the examples of the Warwick and Loughborough VCs in opposing the pension cuts, by making a formal and public statement in solidarity with UCU members taking industrial action.
3. Vice Chancellors and senior management use their influence to persuade their counterparts at other universities to follow suit.
4. Student unions at the affected universities and the National Union of Students (NUS) publicly support the UCU strike and lobby UUK to agree to UCU’s demands in full.
5. The above institutions to provide full support to students in the event of them organising a campaign in support of the strike

If UUK does not agree to the demands of UCU and the industrial action goes ahead, we resolve to stand in full solidarity with staff by:

1. Not crossing any picket lines during the industrial action in order to attend classes and encourage others to do the same.
2. Supporting staff on the picket lines.
3. Organising with other students on our campuses to campaign for management to support striking staff and the UUK to agree to the demands of the UCU.
4. Agitating for our Student Unions and the NUS to publicly support the UCU strike and lobby UUK to agree to UCU’s demands in full.
5. Refusing to give in to strikebreaking divide and rule tactics by maintaining our position that full responsibility for any negative effects of the strike lies with those causing the problem, UUK.

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