The University and College Union (UCU) is a constituent union of the British and Irish Group of Teacher Unions (BIGTU), as is the TUI. There has been a strong fraternal bond between the UCU and the TUI for many years. Our colleagues in the UCU are currently engaged in very serious industrial action in defence of the university pension scheme in over 60 universities in which they represent (https://www.ucu.org.uk/strike-action), where the employers want to close the Defined Benefit pension scheme and replace it with an inferior Defined Contribution scheme.
It is unacceptable that such a unilateral, draconian measure should be foisted on any group of workers. Clearly, it has the potential to have a devastating impact on the lives of academic staff and their families. Moreover, the matter in dispute – superannuation - is obviously of vital concern to all trade unionists. The UCU’s battle is ours also.
The Teachers’ Union of Ireland supports the UCU in its campaign to protect the rights and conditions of its members. We take this opportunity to express our solidarity with UCU and undertake to provide any assistance we can.
Winning the battle for hearts and minds is clearly important in such a campaign and, in this respect, our colleagues in UCU have asked us to publicise their strike action and would greatly appreciate if TUI members would express solidarity with their UCU counterparts on social media, particularly Twitter, using the hashtags #strikeforUSS #ucustrikes #uss where possible.
The UCU also has a strike fighting fund https://www.ucu.org.uk/fightingfund.