LECTURERS at the University of Manchester have gone on strike for two days due to proposed redundancy dismissals.
The strike takes place yesterday and today with normal teaching set to resume on the 25th October, while a protest is taking place across the universities different campus’s and within the student union. The protest is being held students and lecturers alike.
One student taking part said: “I want to support the strike. I just saw the signs, I’ve seen what the university has done to academics and to students… we are paying £9000 a year, over £9000 a year if you’re an international student.
“I’m a science student and we really need new lab equipment, but none of it seems to go on that, in fact some of the academics and the PHD students are getting kicked out of their lab space so it can get given to industry.”
It has also been made clear, in a bid to stop the staff from protesting, that any staff members that choose to strike will not be paid for the two days.
The science student added: “I just feel that it’s so, so wrong. It’s essentially the university taking these academics, who are not necessarily well paid, and saying ‘we are going to coerce you into not striking by saying if you don’t do this we are going to cut off the money that enables you to have a roof over your head, pay your bills and eat’. It’s just not right.”
— Rebecca Moore (@rebecca_moore_) October 22, 2017
One university staff member, John Costello, said: “I’m here because, as a member of the UCU, we had a vote, and 86% of University members said they would vote for strike action, which includes picketing today. 93% of the people who voted said they would take action short of the strike.
“I am supporting the union in defence of jobs and because compulsive redundancy is a very terrible and serious step to take.”
John added: “I think the university are doing what they have always done which is not to pay people going on strike. They are entitled to do it but they could choose not to do that as well, but it’s a decision they take.
“I think it has an intimidating effect on staff and it won’t encourage them to strike. The university don’t want to encourage staff to take strike action because it’s disruptive.”
A surprising amount of student decided to take part in the rally, showing their support for their lecturers and their university.
Another member of the university staff said: “There’s been a fantastic reaction from students. We’ve had lots of students joining us here with pickets. They’ve been here with banners, they’ve been giving out leaflets, and they’ve been encouraging their fellow students not to cross the picket line.
“It shows the students concerns over fees and higher education funding are profoundly linked to their lecturers concerns over the job cuts here in Manchester”