25 November 2019

Greens pledge support to striking university staff

 

Exeter Green Party parliamentary candidate, Joe Levy, has today expressed his support for the strike by University and College Union (UCU) members at Exeter university and 80 universities around the UK [1].

Joe Levy, who himself works for the university and is a trade union member, said:

“I fully support the UCU's demands for improvements to the wellbeing and welfare of both staff and students. Staff at our universities are failing to receive proper pay, conditions or pensions. This is leaving huge numbers trapped in the uncertainty of zero-hours and variable hours contracts.

“The future of top universities like Exeter and the quality of education of students, is dependent on staff being treated properly. I know from speaking to staff that they fear not only for their own futures but also students’ futures.  

“University pay structures need to be rebalanced away from ludicrously high pay for a few management staff, and towards maintaining the pay and conditions for those doing the teaching and research.”

Joe Levy also outlined Green Party plans:

“Students are weighed down by the huge weight of student debt, a pressure we will remove by ending tuition fees and paying off existing student debt.

“But lecturers are also suffering from intolerably low pay, poor conditions and insecurity. The commercialisation of higher education benefits nobody. We want to offer all hourly paid staff and agency staff salaried contracts."

Joe Levy has said he will boycott hustings or events on Exeter university campus during the UCU strike action.

 

[1] https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ucu-strike-university-staff-pensions-pay_uk_5ddbb178e4b00149f71ff63f