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Sweating the asset-strippers

Thank you for observing the strike today which was a resounding success. Lecturing staff turned out in record numbers to mount pickets across the university. For the first time there was a UCU picket at every site and only a handful of classes actually went ahead. Lecturers were also joined on the picket line by students who turned out in impressive numbers to support. Thanks to members that supported the strike but were not available for picket duty and to non-members that observed the strike. Finally thanks to non-members who chose to work at home.

There is general agreement across the institution that we have entered a period of crisis and that this is largely self-inflicted notwithstanding the crisis in the sector. There is little point in rehearsing these arguments again when the reality of the situation is plain for all to see. The question is what as lecturers can we do about this?

The answer to this is very little if the branch is not able to exercise a rational, moderate and progressive influence over the course of the University. For this reason it is absolutely vital that you continue to support the union at this crucial stage of the negotiations. By supporting the strike you empower your negotiators and ratchet up the pressure on senior managers who have thus far proved completely intransigent. We are asking not just for this support to be sustained but actually to grow over the course of the future actions.

To those colleagues that have taken action today we ask you to continue your support and continue explaining and discussing the dispute with your students. Please also make yourself available for picketing duties on the Tuesday 23rd and Monday 29th Oct especially if you were unable to join the picket lines today. If makes a massive difference if you not just take action but are seen to take action.

To those colleagues that did not take part in the strike action today because they felt the sacrifice to great or the action disproportionate or futile we ask you to join us. Our power and therefore our capacity to be a moderating and rational influence lie simply in our acting together.

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