In the light of the recent Greek elections, here is the resolution passed at the UCU Annual Congress a couple of years ago. Delegates to Trades Councils and other bodies may wish to use it.
Congress notes the increasing cuts in public services, including education, in countries across Europe and the severe attacks on education workers’ pay and conditions.
Greece is at the cutting edge of the neo-liberal austerity measures that are being introduced across Europe. Greek people face an avalanche of cuts to pay debts incurred by bankers and politicians. These cuts are exacerbating the economic situation.
Congress notes that in Greece: 1 unemployment is 20% overall (50% for young people) 2 public sector workers’ wages have fallen by up to 40% 3 the minimum wage has been cut by 20% 4 the EU-ECB-IMF “Troika” imposed an unelected banker as Greek PM 5 Greek workers and students have launched waves of strikes, occupations and mass demonstrations that have rocked the political establishment in Europe.
Congress welcomes the widely-supported development of a European Front to Defend the People of Greece and all those facing austerity. Congress salutes the ordinary Greek people for their collective strength in resisting the damage of austerity by campaigning and giving each other practical support. Congress is appalled by the vicious severity of public sector cuts, including education cuts, imposed on Greece.
Congress believes: a. workers and students in Europe are being made to pay for a crisis they didn’t create b. investment in education and training remains one of the best ways out of the current economic and social crisis c. it is important to encourage education union solidarity across Europe.
Congress resolves: i. to support the EI/ETUCE action and campaign on the economic crisishttp://etuce.homestead.com/ETUCE_Crisis.html ii. to publicise the ‘Appeal for solidarity with the people of Greece’ and to explore further ways of developing links with Greek education workershttp://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2012/02/sign-the-appeal-for-solidarity-with-the-people-of-greece/ iii. to continue to campaign for progressive alternatives such as the Financial Transactions Tax iv. to publicise the issue of Greek solidarity and encourage debates about the Greek crisis at every level of the union v. to support all broad-based UK initiatives of solidarity with Greek workers and students vi. to organise a speaking tour of Greek strikers in 2012 vii. to develop links with Greek education unions by exchanges and visits involving lay members viii. to ask UCU branches to twin with Greek union branches/villages/towns – if necessary, with the advice of a Greek regional university union branch and the European Front, in order to offer our solidarity and support.