Socialist Party joins UCU members on the picket line at Bradford Uni – photo Iain Dalton
UCU members have been out at the University of Bradford on Wednesday & Thursday as part of the national dispute over pay and casualisation. Despite the weather, a dozen pickets were present on the second day when Socialist Party members locally visited the picket line.
Iain Dalton, Socialist Party West Yorkshire Organiser
Many of the pickets talked about ongoing job reviews at the University which they believed were designed to cut staff pay, by making job descriptions more vague. Other pickets talked about how with the union they had challenged this procedure, in some cases forcing the university to recognise additional duties they were undertkaing and increase pay!
Tish, one of the UCU reps at the University, spoke to us about her concerns over education in general, including her local school which has been turned into an academy. The common theme in all the Tories plans for education, is increasing marketisation of the sector.
UCU pickets at Bradford University – photo Iain Dalton
Bradford Socialist Party members campaigning against the library cuts – photo Iain Dalton
Text of a Bradford Socialist Party ‘Save Our Libraries’ leaflet
The future of 12 libraries across the Bradford district lies in the balance, as part of around £61m worth of cuts passed by the council at its budget setting meeting in February. This would be a reduction of a half of full-time libraries across the district—another victim of the Tory government’s savage cuts which Labour-led Bradford Council are implementing.
The council had originally planned to fully staff just seven—the city centre plus Keighley, Manningham, Shipley, Ilkley, Bingley and Eccleshill.
Under pressure from campaigners, the budget was amended with funding to fully staff Wibsey, Laisterdyke and Wyke, whilst Baildon and Clayton will be partially staffed, with other hours being covered by unpaid volunteers.
The Socialist Party believes libraries are vital community resources, especially used by families with young children. It is vital that these services are provided by fully trained staff, not let to the mercies of whether enough people can volunteer to run services.
These services should not be sacrificed on the altar of austerity to help fund tax cuts for the wealthy and boost the profits of major corporations. We believe that the council should be resisting the cuts to its funding, not doing the Tories dirty work of attacking local communities jobs and services.
The £218 million the council holds in useable reserves must be utilised as a first step to building a mass campaign to challenge the government’s cuts.