Solidarity with University of Aberdeen UCU

A quorate meeting of the branch on 29th February 2024 passed the following motion in support of the fight against cuts to the Modern Languages courses at University of Aberdeen.

Motion 1: Solidarity with Aberdeen UCU

This branch notes:

  • Plans to cut modern languages courses at Aberdeen University
  • Including Gaelic, one of the few institutions to teach the language to degree level
  • The threat to approximately 30 jobs
  • The 80% vote for strike action by UCU Aberdeen branch members
  • The increasing number of HE institutions, including pre-92 and post-92 universities, which are introducing:
      • spending and recruitment freezes
      • departmental restructures
      • voluntary and compulsory redundancies

This branch believes:

  • The wide range of cuts and attacks are not happening at once by coincidence
  • If our employers are coordinating their attacks, we must collectivise our response

The branch resolves:

  • To support UCU Aberdeen branch in its fight against cuts, including the industrial action beginning 12th March
  • To donate £500 to UCU Aberdeen branch funds to support members
  • To support and publicise UCU Aberdeen campaign materials and activities
  • To amplify calls for a collective response to the wider employers’ offensive

Branch members can find further ways to support the UCU UoA campaign at

Solidarity with Sheffield Hallam UCU

To all at Sheffield Hallam UCU

We send a message of solidarity from University of Liverpool & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UCU branch.

We all know that voluntary severance schemes are neither voluntary – in the sense that staff are often pressured into volunteering – nor the end of the story. Voluntary schemes are so often followed up with compulsory redundancies (for example recently at Brighton University) that the voluntary phase could be seen as a deliberate tactic to scare staff into jumping before they are pushed. It is particularly heartless to announce the scheme just before the Christmas holidays. What a horrible gift to give to staff.

We note that SHU is planning to open a London campus. University of Liverpool did this a few years ago, and it was a complete disaster. Not only did it cost a vast amount of money, it also failed to attract students, and was ultimately closed down with the loss of all jobs. The fact that universities don’t learn from each other, and avoid such pointless ventures, is baffling.

A year later, our management announced 47 job cuts at the Liverpool campus, and we began our battle over redundancies. Our first step was to immediately ballot for action, which allowed us to rally the branch and take strike action in the run up to a marking and assessment boycott. We would recommend preparing for a ballot as soon as you can, so that you are able to take action during term time if needed. Ours was a difficult battle, but ultimately we won through a combination of the determination of our members, and the amazing solidarity we received from other UCU branches. If there is anything we can do to support your branch in the battles ahead, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

In solidarity

Branch Committee
University of Liverpool & Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine UCU

Why are we striking?

We recently surveyed our members as to why they have committed to strike action this November. Here is what they have to say:

I’m only asking for fair pay, fair contracts, and a fair pension… sounds fair enough…


I am striking to protect me, my colleagues and my students, and our futures.

I am fighting to protect Higher Education for future generations.


I need job security and a pay rise!


I am striking to prevent the real-terms pay cut we’ve been given, and to save our pensions after they were – as it turns out, unnecessarily – devalued, by an average of 30%.


I am striking to fight for a fair future for all working in Higher Education.

I don’t believe I have a choice – my individual attempts to improve my working conditions (pay and job security) have failed, so I have no option but to act collectively and go on strike.


The UK HE sector is awash with money from students, government and commerce – yet the people who produce this revenue see very little of it!!


I am striking to support the rights of University staff.


The statistics that 46% of those who teach in universities are employed on zero-hours contracts and that 63% of research staff are on precarious fixed-term contracts are appalling, even without the spiralling cost of living and a lousy 3% pay raise offer, along with the fact that a third of our pensions have been taken away on spurious grounds. We have to fight back against the uberisation of UK universities.

I am supporting industrial action because I do not wish to be complicit in the erosion of our rights and the theft of our income and pensions.


To make a fair change for all.


The system is corrupt, workers from every sector must unite to demand change.


They say cut back – we say fight back! I’m sick of being treated like crap. This is a chance to resist!

I am striking for the future of PGRs & all staff.


To combat working conditions that are as of this moment untenable, and to stand in solidarity with my colleagues across higher education.


I am furious at the dishonest way pension benefits have been cut and the increasing casualisation of University work.


I believe our pensions and salaries should be guarded.

I want to support the Union in defending the rights of workers in Higher Education.


No one wants to strike. We’ve all got bills to pay in increasingly difficult economic circumstances. But, I am joining this strike action because we have to stand together – against falling wages, against pension theft, against precarity and inequality.


Because enough is enough.


Statement of support for RMT

We wish RMT members on Merseyside and all the other regions taking strike action on 21, 23 and 25 June success in their justified industrial action campaign over pay, working conditions and job security. When our UCU branch fought to defend jobs in 2021 we had fantastic solidarity from the wider trade union movement, and we understand the importance of trade unions supporting each other in their different fights. We are also totally opposed to any attempt by the Tory government to restrict the right to strike with minimum service requirements, and see this as an attack on all unions. We will support your picket lines and RMT speakers will be very welcome at our members meetings. Solidarity to the RMT!

Peta Bulmer, President, University of Liverpool UCU, and Branch Committee