Cambridge Defend Education pledges support for further staff industrial action

CDE have said that students would continue to support strikes
Image credit: TCS News Team

Cambridge Defend Education (CDE) issued a statement yesterday expressing its support for UCU members ahead of the organisation’s new ballot following the latest offer from Universities UK (UUK).

The statement pledges CDE’s “strong” support for all UCU members voting “no” to the current deal and continuing strike action, affirming they will “continue to support staff taking industrial action to defend their pay and conditions for as long as they are willing to do so.”

CDE’s statement criticised the current deal as “not good enough”, with cuts "still on the table.” UUK’s latest offer in the battle to end strikes suggests the creation of a joint expert panel to re-examine the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)’s initial valuation.

UUK have also dropped proposals to scrap the defined-benefits part of USS pensions, which guarantees a set level of income for staff in their retirement. However, the supposedly ‘hardline’ No Detriment position still involves accepting the two series of cuts made against the pension scheme in the last decade.

Stating that the strike was about “more than pensions”, CDE also drew attention to the “movement” created against the reforms “which hurt staff and students alike”, promoted by the marketisation of universities. “[We] will keep fighting the damage being done to education on every front.”

“Students are in this for the long haul,” the statement continued. “CDE, others in Cambridge, and our national movement will continue to campaign against cuts and fees, against high rents, against PREVENT and against unaccountable bureaucracies which hurt staff and students alike.”

The statement concluded by reiterating CDE’s position of support for dissenting voters, adding: “they should know that students will remain behind them.”

Staff strikes and protests took place in universities across the country following universities’ proposals to reduce pay to staff due to the USS’ alleged budgetary deficit, but Sally Hunt, the UCU general secretary, has urged UCU members to “bank the substantial concessions” achieved in fourteen days of strike action and vote “yes” to the new proposal.

Voting in the ballot is due to close at 2pm on April 13.


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