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
Socialist Students stall outside Bradford University
On Monday 15th September, Socialist Students held a stall outside Bradford Uni on the first day of freshers week to campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage and sign people up to join Socialist Students. Despite bad weather, we got a terrific response, including been so deep in conversation that we didn’t get around to covering up our leaflets and other material during one deluge.
Iain Dalton, Socialist Students – Yorkshire Organiser
We found a whole layer of students having to work part-time to make ends meet, who agreed with us when we pointed out that multinationals like McDonalds could easily afford £10 an hour now. We met students from a number of countries who were studying at Bradford who already considered themselves socialists.
In the evening we held a ‘What is Socialism?’ meeting, where several new people came to their first Socialist Students meeting. Despite only planning an hour long meeting, discussion went on much later as we covered issues from the Scottish Independence referendum to the housing crisis and much more.
Although there have been individual Socialist Students activists studying at Bradford Uni over the past few years, we haven’t managed to set up an official society yet, But with the momentum we are building, this year we are determined to make a breakthrough.