UCL’s picket lines this Thursday were the largest we’ve had since this wave of industrial action began in 2018. With different pickets across campus and visits from Unison, Unite, the IWGB and Mick Lynch, the atmosphere is certainly hotting up. On Friday, we’ll be hosting a wider trade union solidarity demo outside UCL’s main gates on Gower Street at 12 noon, alongside RCN colleagues from UCLH hospital, the CWU, RMT and many others. This is not a fight we can win on our own and building those inter-union ties is vital if we’re going to challenge bosses and the Tory government to take the cost-of-living crisis seriously.

As the pickets closed on Thursday, discussion at the well-attended strike meeting turned to the future of our campaign. Many are already preparing for a marking boycott, and some colleagues suggested that we should threaten to not come back after the winter holidays. An indefinite walk-out would be a first in our sector and it remains to be seen whether members would support it. But for many - particularly workers at Birkbeck, Roehampton, Goldsmiths and elsewhere who have been threatened with huge waves of redundancies - it does feel like the future of UK higher education is at stake.


The University Worker

Bulletin written for, and by, University Workers. Back issues here