Coventry students demand £10 now for uni workers
This week marked another success for Coventry Socialist Students as a motion calling for a £10 an hour living wage, proposed and seconded by CSS members, passed through the students union council. We argued that the SU should campaign for the university to pay all staff at least £10/hr, the policy of the TUC (Trade Union Congress),
This motion, adding to the SU housing responsibility motion previously passed, represents another area of student’s lives which CUSU now has to campaign to improve. The motion means the union has resolved:
- To campaign for an £10hr minimum wage for all university and CUSU staff.
- To release a public statement criticising the university management for amassing such a great surplus revenue and not allocating it to improve the conditions of its workers.
- To release a public statement against the pay rise of the university management whilst the average wage paid by the university to its staff has decreased.
- To release a public statement expressing support with the UCU with their grievances, as well as calling for student and worker’s unity.
- To mandate the Communications Officer to communicate with the UCU in regards of future co-operation about issues students or lectures face with the University management so a united front can be presented.
- That the Union as a whole will campaign to increase student awareness on the surplus revenue the University has, the exploitation going on of workers and the importance of paying £10 an hour (TUC Living Wage).
Not only does this motion have a direct effect on students employed on campus by the university, CUSU or any outsourced services, it also has a much wider implication to the university. The motion also called for greater co-operation between CUSU and the UCU, the main Trade Union representing lectures. This is significant as it allows students and lectures greater opportunity to unite together to campaign together against the commodification of education and the ever increasing corporate style running of the university.
Furthermore, CUSU now has to publicly criticise the management for amassing over £21m in ‘surplus revenue’ last year. This is a very significant step in turning the SU into a campaigning, fighting organisation which will stick up for students even if it goes against the university management.
As a society which fights for students we will continue to work within and outside the student union to achieve our aims. If you agree with what we’re campaigning for, and want to fight for socialist change, join Socialist Students!
Coventry Socialist Students continues to grow
Coventry Socialist Students have further built our profile at Coventry University following a successful week of campaigning and activity.
We began the week with a public meeting on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, which around 15 students came to. We discussed the attacks and how socialists should respond to terrorism and Islamophobia. In addition we made plans to build our presence on campus, especially our flagship Housing Campaign.
On Tuesday our four Student Councillors attended the SU council meeting, and all four were nominated to various committees within the SU. We will use those platforms to stick up for ordinary students, and of course to build Coventry Socialist Students (CSS). Crucially, Kristian Sucilla O’Sullivan, Sam Kempster and Mohammed Wurie were all nominated for the Housing Committee, giving us a great opportunity to keep fighting for decent housing and against dodgy landlords and letting agencies.
Sam said ”Coventry Socialist Students are the foundation and support beams of the housing campaign and that’s never going to change, however it’s a really positive step that the campaign has been taken on by the SU and that the steering committee is comprised of both CSS councillors and SU Sabbatical Officers”.
A number of our members attended an open meeting of the lecturers union (UCU) on Wednesday, along with the National Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Dave Nellist, to continue forming links between staff and students at the university. The meeting was held by the Coventry UCU branch to bring together lecturers and workers from across the faculties under one roof to point out and discuss some of the serious problems going on behind the academic scenes.
Kristian spoke to the meeting to bring solidarity from CSS: “Students and lectures alike are being exploited in a variety of ways, from students facing overpriced sub-standard accommodation to lecturers being forced into working overtime by taking on extra admin workloads. We want to work with the UCU to bring together both these exploited groups in united struggle and point towards the real problem – the bosses upstairs.”
CSS will continue our work at Cov Uni with a Housing Campaign stall this Wednesday (Feb 4th) outside the SU Hub at 12.00 midday. Come and join us!
Coventry Socialist Student Hong Kong Solidarity protest
09/10/2014 by Kristian O’Sullivan
Coventry Socialist Student’s took to the streets this week to talk to students about the protests that haven taken place in Hong Kong in the pursuit for true democracy. We set up our stall in the main courtyard on campus, where the main hub of activity takes place. For the first 20 minutes we distributed leaflets, petitions and having great conversations with students about the events taken place and the actions of Socialist Action in this tremendous movement.
However it wasn’t long until two police officers showed up to inquire into what we were doing, we explained and they asked if we could move off university property. We declined that option after stating as students we had the same right to use this student space like anyone else. Two more university security staff members came and eventually two members of university management afterwards, when the dust settled and all the excitement of police, security and university workers inquiring into our activities was done we carried on as usual.
The day carried on with dozens of students taking photo’s holding Socialist Action slogans and umbrella’s to demonstrate solidarity with the brave individuals using umbrellas to defend themselves whilst facing the rubber bullets and tear gas being used upon them by Chinese authorities. We had students from all different backgrounds and countries (including mainland China & Hong Kong) approaching us on this issue. Alongside the great show of support, we also made over 10 contacts and a number of papers sold.
In regards to social media, dozens of Chinese students took photos to share with family back home, within hours over 1000 people have clicked to view our photo album of the stunt on our facebook page and counting.
Many other students identified with the need for an alternative form of society, a socialist society where democracy is more than just a dream for some but a reality shared by all.
Check out the photo album here
And for updates from the Socialist Party’s sister organisation in Hong Kong – http://www.socialism.hk