Why YOU should back the strike
On Monday 28th April students will be protesting in support of striking lecturers. Edmund Wise is here to tell you why you should be joining them.
Staff strikes and a threatened marking boycott over pay have cast a shadow over the university.
I’ve encountered many students who are angry at the idea they are not getting their money’s worth because our lecturers have instigated a boycott over marking their papers. Who wouldn’t be pissed off?
This anger is misdirected. The attitude of some students towards their dissenting lecturers is the result of a deliberately cynical move by the government.
By saddling us with debt, they removed the solidarity that cemented the links between lecturer, student, and university administrator.
This self-evident truth is convenient for any authority: because we are paying their wages, we want to have our money’s worth. Therefore we are frustrated at the prospect of striking lecturers.
This leads to servile subservience from already apathetic students, fostered by a university that is currently behaving like a paranoid, Putin-esque tyrant.
The truth is straightforward.
University staff from lecturers to cleaners have had a pay cut in real terms of 13%. Meanwhile, our Vice-Chancellor is paid over £314,000 a year and has not had their pay cut.
This simple juxtaposition reveals a rank injustice. It’s not just the Vice Chancellor who has benefited – his deputies have as well, but NOT our lecturers or cleaning and catering staff.
When university staff protested at this act of cruelty, they were met with coercion. Management initially refused to negotiate with the staff and threatened them with the removal of their wages if the boycott continued.
This is the same university that has raised our tuition fees to £9000 and the same university that is saddling you with a massive amount of debt.
If the management can afford their high wages, why on earth can’t they afford lighter fees or, better still, proper living wages for the people who keep this place afloat?
We pay for this university. We, the students, have a choice here: whether we give our money to those who feed us, clean for us and teach us or to those who treat these people with contempt.
Who do you really think deserves the money?
If you feel what I and hundreds of others feel, then on the 28th of April, at 1.00pm outside the Wills Memorial Building we will be meeting to protest against this act of injustice.
If we refuse to stand up and be counted when unfairness prevails, the system is not broken, we are.