8 reasons to oppose Jo Grady’s proposed Four Fights & USS strategy

  1. No to one-day strikes. One-day strikes are tokenistic and ineffective. UCU’s industrial action policy is for meaningful, not token, action. We need at least five days of strike action this term to show the employers we are serious.
  2. No to decoupling. Taking strike action for each dispute on different days decouples the disputes and undermines unity between pre- and post-92 branches across the sector. 
  3. No to a delayed reballot. Delaying reballots until January will stall our momentum, shorten the ballot window, and/or delay future action. The reballots should be open during the first spell of strike action to boost those branches’ chances of improving turnout.
  4. No to an aggregated ballot. Now is not the time to see if we can beat the threshold in an aggregated ballot. Why throw away the mandates we have won in the hope that we can replicate the narrow margin we achieved in the total vote? It also means a legal challenge in a single institution would threaten the whole mandate.
  5. No to limiting reballoting to branches which reached 40+%. With help, branches can often improve their turnout massively, especially if the ballots are running while other branches are striking. UAL went from 33% to 53% in 2020. These are national disputes so no branches should be allowed to opt out.
  6. No to prioritising one of the Four Fights over the rest. Reducing casualisation is an important part of our national claim but it is only one of the Four Fights. Members voted for action because they also oppose the erosion of their pay, unmanageable workloads and persistent inequality.
  7. No to postponing decisions about escalation. The best way to deter employers from trying to ride out industrial action is to notify them of escalating action in advance. We should decide our spring term strike dates now and tell the employers more of our branches will be joining that action.
  8. Where is the ASOS plan? ASOS can generate important leverage provided it is backed by strike action, as Liverpool branch showed. We should be considering using all our weapons including assessment boycotts.

For further arguments about next steps in the USS and Four Fights disputes and a model motion for branches see the UCU Left statement on the ballot results.

Register here for Thursday night’s meeting in advance of Friday’s Branch Delegate Meeting and HEC.

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