Message of support: UCU strike in London colleges

Staff at eleven London colleges are likely to strike over funding cuts on Wednesday, May 5. Higher education has been hit with a series of funding cuts that now total close to £1bn, while further education has been told to make savings of £340m in the next academic year. You can read more about the dispute here.

I have sent the following message of support on behalf of RMT's London Transport Region ...


Dear brothers and sisters

I am writing to give the support of RMT's London Transport Region for your strike action on Wednesday.

With higher and further education facing such huge funding cuts, UCU has no choice but to take industrial action to protect both staff and students. One day's disruption - or more, if necessary - is a price worth paying to defend our education system and its future.

Many of our members on London Transport study in further or higher education, and many more have children, family or friends who do so. We applaud your determination to resist cuts and protect our right to study.

Whichever party wins the General Election, public services will face massive cuts, with the Tories in particular promising to start their cuts within weeks. Faced with this, it is essential that trade unionists in the public services work together in an effective, united campaign to defend workers and service users.

Public services such as education, transport and healthcare are not gifts from a generous ruling class, but have been won through generations of struggle by the working-class movement. Now, we need that struggle again, to protect our right to public services provided on the basis of need, not greed.

London Underground is planning to cut 800 jobs, mainly among station staff, and to severely reduce ticket office opening times. This will result in passengers being much less able to get the help they need, and will make London Underground a significantly less safe and secure system to travel on. It will also add 800 to the ranks of the unemployed. I hope you will support our 'SOS: Staff Our Stations' campaign against this. You can read more about it here:

Yours in solidarity

Janine Booth Secretary RMT London Transport Regional Council