Local messages of support and solidarity

We are receiving many messages of support and solidarity from our sisters and brothers across the trade union movement, such as this message from UNISON Cymru:

Solidarity message to striking UCU members
Dan Beard from UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive said,
“UNISON Cymru Wales members give a warm message of solidarity to UCU members striking in defence of your right to a decent pension.
“Yours is a critical dispute and a defined benefit pension is the benchmark of a good employer. Pensions are deferred earnings which you have worked hard to receive. The changes proposed by Universities UK are severe and could strip you of thousands of pounds in retirement. The proposals must be reversed. Attacking pension benefits will never be acceptable to the workforce.
“As we consult with our own members on the Universities UK proposals, we are proud to offer our support to our sister union. UNISON members have been encouraged to support UCU comrades on picket lines, protests and rallies. Good luck in your fight for pensions justice.”
Alastair Gittins
Information Development Organiser
UNISON Cymru/Wales
Office: 02920 729 453
Mobile: 07816 538 397

Also this message from USDAW:

USDAW message of support:

“Usdaw stands in solidarity with the UCU, it’s members and affected families who have had to resort to industrial action to make their voices heard on this issue. We have also seen many of our members adversely affected by changes to pension provisions and have seen the effect that this can have on people expecting a fair provision at the end of their working lives. We wish you all the very best in relation to this issue and hope a satisfactory resolution can be found” – Mike Walker Deputy DIvisional Officer Usdaw South Wales & Western Region

Best Wishes


Mike Walker
Deputy Divisional Officer
Usdaw South Wales & Western Division

And this Solidarity message to striking UCU members from Philip Jennings, General Secretary of Uni Global (an international federation of unions representing 20 million workers worldwide) and a Cardiff University Honorary Fellow

Dear Friends,

I am emailing to send you warm greetings, support and solidarity. I am an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and as such am well aware of the high quality of research and education provided by this university. I am Cardiff born and recognize all that you do for the City and it’s people.It is time for the people to stand with staff who toil to bring the best of coming generations from all corners of the world.

All of these are the great reasons why the University must do its utmost to ensure that its staff are treated fairly and that they can go about their daily tasks with the confidence that the worries of tomorrow are taken care of.

As well as being an Honorary Fellow, I am also the general secretary of Uni Global Union, a global federation of trade unions, so I am particularly aware that if employers wish to remain successful, they need staff who are motivated and not weighed down by the cloud that unfair treatment brings.

So I urge the University and Vice Chancellor, Professor Riordan, to add his voice to those growing numbers of Vice Chancellors around the UK and use his influence on the employers group to urge UUK to negotiate with the UCU with a view to finding a jointly acceptable solution which will preserve the defined benefit pension scheme.

Best wishes for a successful conclusion to your dispute.

Philip Jennings
Honorary Fellow Cardiff University and General Secretary, Uni Global Union

And this Solidarity message to striking UCU members from Shavanah Taj, Wales Secretary of PCS (the Public and Commercial Services Union)

Friends let me start by saying Da iawn for being one of the few UK unions to have smashed the 50% ballot turnout barrier imposed by recent Tory anti-union legislation. With 88% national vote in favour of strike action on a turnout of 58%;89% in favour of strike action in Cardiff, the figures alone demonstrate the true strength of feeling amongst UCU members.

As you know PCS members have been at the forefront of many attack’s by government on their jobs, pay, terms and conditions. We know that being forced to take strike action is no easy decision to take. I admire your members courage and unity which is truly our core strength within our movement. I would like to pass on the full support and solidarity of the PCS union to all our colleagues in UCU.

In view of your announcement of taking ongoing strike action, I hope that your employer will now sit up, listen and return to the negotiating table to offer a deal that is acceptable to your members. This dispute isn’t simply about protecting existing staff pensions but also about looking out for those that come next, including existing students who choose to purse a career in this field.

Let me also take this opportunity to urge your Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University, Professor Riordan, to add his voice to the growing numbers of Vice Chancellors around the UK and use his influence on the employers’ group (UUK) to get them to negotiate with the UCU, with a view to finding a jointly acceptable solution which will preserve the defined benefit pension.

I will continue to highlight your dispute to our members and encourage messages of solidarity and ensure they do all they can to amplify your voices wherever possible. If there is any hardship fund then can you forward me on the details please and I will organise a donation and circulate details to branches. I intend to visit your picket line this week and will pass on the full support from the PCS.

Stay strong and stand firm. You’ve got this!

Shavanah Taj
PCS Union, Welsh Secretary & National Officer