The University and College Union (UCU) which represents further and higher education staff in the United Kingdom is holding a national day of protest on 3 July.
The UK government is currently proposing to cut thousands of jobs in the university sector, despite national funding settlements in other areas where the government has recognised the need to go above its usual minimum standards of country deficit and government debt. The London Metropolitan University is proposing to axe at least 500 jobs – one quarter of the workforce, while at the University of Surrey, 65 members of staff are facing redundancy.
In further education too, jobs are at risk. As well as restructuring plans which will lead to jobs losses, there are plans to replace lecturers with lower skilled assessors.
The UCU will be holding a national day of protest to send a clear message of support to their members fighting the cuts and a message to College managers and politicians alike that they will not stand by and watch the country's further and higher education sector deteriorate in this manner.
EI offers its full support to the UCU and deplores this act of the UK government. In the current financial crisis, the government fails to recognise that sustainable funding of higher education and investment in staff is a key element in preparing for a post-crisis regeneration. Investment in teachers, via higher education instruction and in further and higher education staff has never been more vital than it is today.
For more information, please visit their protest website or their Facebook page.