University and College Union (UCU) staff members are on today strike to defend pensions, pay and jobs this morning at Teesside University.
What is happening?
In front of the Middlesbrough Tower at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, many members of the UCU staff gathered to spread awareness about the cause of the protest and strike. They shared stickers and posters with people and students who are interested to know more about it.
Graham, one of the protesters said:
“We are university staff and members of University and College Union (UCU). We teach you, support you, guide you and do the research you rely on. We are on strike over falling pay, working conditions and cuts to our pensions.
“Trade unions represent people at work and aim to improve pay and conditions.”
The strike means that they are refusing to work so that university bosses listen to them and then they can find a resolution to the dispute. The protest took place on the same day as the strike to raise awareness about the cause.
On the same day, lectures were cancelled at Teesside University due to the strike and lots of students supported it to help the staff through the process, not for the first time.
More than 70,000 staff at 150 universities are holding strikes in February and March
Why should students support the strike?
The UCU leaflet says:
“Our working conditions are your learning conditions. Like everyone else, university staff are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, on top of excessive workloads, discriminatory pay gaps and insecure jobs. This affects our ability to teach and support you.”
It also adds:
“Students and staff deserve better than this and it doesn’t have to be this way. Income in the university sector is higher than ever and keeps increasing but the proportion spent on staff has decreased. Bosses have chosen to spend on buildings and on hoarding reserves… Another university is possible, but we need to stand together. UCU campaigned alongside the NUS against tuition fees and we still believe in a fully funded higher education system freely available to all.”
How can students show support?
- • Contact your VC (vice-chancellor) and let them know you are backing the staff
- • Visit our picket lines and let us know you are with us
- • Post support using #ucuRISING on social media