Cardiff Uni staff vow to ‘win’ strike battle during opening rally
Members of UCU stood together in solidarity
Beginning at 8am this morning, Cardiff University staff gathered in Alexandra Gardens to kick-start 8 days of UCU strikes between Monday 25th November and Wednesday 4th December.
The strike-action is protesting against a number of issues including pension cuts, unstable and unsustainable job contracts, pay cuts and inadequate pay, a significant gender pay-gap and unethical workloads in which staff are routinely working unpaid overtime.
At 11am, a variety of UCU members and strike-supporters gave talks as part of the strike-rally with Labour MP Jo Stevens as the first speaker.
Jo Stevens @JoStevensLabour is the first speak at today’s @CardiffUCU strike action protesting excessive workload, pension pilfering, real terms pay cuts and casualisation of staff contracts. pic.twitter.com/q5aVFC9234
— Rob Thomas (@RobThomas14) November 25, 2019
Staff members included lecturing academic staff working across a variety of faculties, ranging from Journalism to Ocean and Earth Science, alongside postgraduate students, professional services staff, technicians, librarians, and other categories of academic-related staff who are members of UCU.
The strike action has received support from the Trades Union Congress, Cardiff Trades Council and the Communication Workers Union.
Cardiff University students also joined the rally, stating "we are standing here today, not as customers but as supporters" and ex-students shared their support on Twitter:
Good luck to all the striking university staff today and for the coming 8 days. The increasing casualisation and exploitation of staff cannot be allowed to continue! Solidarity from an ex @cardiffuni student @CardiffUCU #hellocolin
— Liam Maries (@MariesLiam) November 25, 2019
Good luck to all taking part in the #UCUstrike today and @CardiffUCU. I'm so glad I came to Cardiff 4 years ago but I'm not sure I'd make the same choice today after seeing a VC who cares more about flashy buildings than staff and student well-being. Thank you for standing up ?
— Iain Cook (@IainACook) November 25, 2019
This week of strikes will be followed by ‘action short of a strike’ which involves strictly working to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, and refusing to reschedule lectures lost during the strike action.
The full strike-timetable can be found at on the UCU's website here.