UK: Lecturers and students speak on struggle to fight savage pension cuts
17 March 2018
Daniel, a lecturer, was on the picket line at University College London (UCL) spoke to the World Socialist Web Site. He said, “We are striking not only to defend pensions of other lecturers who are under better terms and conditions but also, and mainly, because we are fed up with being casualised. We have to go where the jobs are, at universities around the world. Two years ago, I was lecturing in Idaho in the US, then I found a post here. But every year the management renews our contracts and makes us in practice re-apply for our own jobs.
“My wife is also a lecturer and found a job this year in Germany. We have a seven months old child. I must commute between London and Germany every week and can only afford to do this because I have two jobs in London, and I live at the house of my mother-in-law. Otherwise I could not do it.”
Ellie also lectures at University College London. She said, “I have worked here for the past five years and I only get paid nine months out of 12, effectively having no holiday or maternity paid leave.
“Moreover, management dominates everything regarding the running of universities, increasing our workload in teaching. There are fewer lecturers per students, and there is the assigning of normal administrative tasks to lecturers. This saves on administration costs and staff. We also have to deal with student performance and our own performance.
“We are against the marketisation of education and universities being turned into places of high debt for student youth with casualised lecturers who spent years studying hard for their qualifications.”
“Most students support us, especially my French students who have a conscious…