Union strikes back: picket lines on 31st October
Unions have announced citywide strikes and pickets outside lecture halls, Senate House and Addenbrookes Hospital in protest over pay cuts
An effective 13% pay cut over the last four years has left university unions, UCU, Unison, and Unite furious. In response, they plan to picket study sites in Cambridge next Thursday.
Picket lines have been planned at the Sidgewick, Downing, and New Museum sites, as well as Senate House from 7.30am.
Co-ordinating with pickets at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, West Cambridge, and two Anglia Ruskin sites; all protests will move at midday to Senate House where the ‘strike action culminates’.
Speaking to The Tab, local organizer Sadie Fulton of Unison said that all the pickets will converge at Senate House four an hour of ‘speakers and chanting’.
UK unions will protest on Halloween that staff have ‘suffered year-on-year cuts,’ according to Michael MacNeill, the head of higher education at UCU.
In a joint statement detailing their plans for next week, the unions said that ‘the Universities should be investing in their most important asset, their staff, and not eroding staff pay year after year’.
They called on uni top brass, Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor Prof Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and his ARU counterpart, Michael Thorne, to ‘do the right thing’ and end the row.
Lecturers and teachers have started to shift their classes away from Thursday to avoid protests.
Lilly Carlisle, a 4th year Arabic student at Newnham told The Tab ‘my supervisor moved her lessons to stay away from any trouble. She was worried about crossing the picket line.’
Tim Holt, the Cambridge Head of Communications stands by his previous statement that the number of staff involved is ‘relatively small’ and that the uni are working to make sure studies are not disrupted.
A good excuse to miss lectures or a pain in the arse? Is your lecturer fighting the power or a filthy scab? Tune in on The Tab next week where we’ll be live-blogging the action all day.