Solidarity with striking UCU academics!

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Dear colleagues,

Your recent strike action against pension cuts and against the authoritarian management of your pensions by employers and the USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) has inspired us all. We, your colleagues in the Netherlands, stand in solidarity with your struggles for a more democratic, accountable, and open university.

Know that you are at the forefront of a trans-European struggle against opaque managerialism and authoritarianism in higher education. Know that we are learning from your leadership. And know that your victories are our victories, just as your defeats are our defeats. The recent deal offered by your employers was a bad deal. If something like it were to go through, similar deals would reach our shores in no time. There are signs that further cuts are coming to higher education in the Netherlands, at a time when overall student numbers are increasing. At the same time, universities are being deprived of bottom-up control over education and research curricula, just as the central administration is usurping control in order to privatize them.

We therefore encourage all our colleagues in the Netherlands to support your strike fund. A fight similar to yours is already on the horizon here (WO in Actie/Higher Education In Action). So we also encourage you to establish a strike committee that will coordinate strike action across UK universities and abroad, by sharing information and analysis. Your recent mobilization both within and outside the UCU shows that this might be useful; we look forward to collaborating with you in setting up a transparent and open strikers’ hub on social media and other channels.

In solidarity,