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Student strikers explain why you should never ever cross the picket line

The student voice can make a big impact

With the strikes affecting over 70 universities across the UK, there are many opinions amongst students. We asked Cardiff Students Support the Strike, a group who believe it is important to support lecturers, why they’re supporting the strikes and why more students should join follow suit.

The group is solely run by students with one member explaining “a lot of our members are postgraduate and PhD students who experienced the initial strikes in 2018, but the group really blossomed with the AGM last year which got so many people involved.”

While every member may have their own personal objectives for being in the group, a common theme is to inform students and “getting them to understand why staff are striking and supporting staff wherever they can.”

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They explained how “there are a lot of misconceptions about the strikes. A lot of people think it’s just for pensions or believe that staff are still getting paid when they are actually losing out on almost a month’s worth of pay.”

“We just want to inform students not to be angry with their lecturers who are striking but rather the people who are responsible for the negotiation process and bringing about change.”

The group are passionate about supporting the staff striking, determined to spread information among fellow students about the causes of the strikes, including heavy workloads and pay inequality.

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When asked how students can get involved, a member told us that “the most important thing is going to the pickets and not crossing the picket lines.”

“The point of the strike is to disrupt people, ideally the university should be a ghost town and everything should be brought to a halt.”

It’s common for students to feel indifferent or confused about the strikes and what to do about it which the group recognise: “We understand that it isn’t always possible for some people but doing as much as you can is important.”

“An easy way to support the strikes would be doing your work at home or in coffee shops, rather than going to the university libraries.”

The student strikers also urge others to actively encourage staff, sharing stories of their own experiences: “Send emails to staff that are striking. I follow one of my lecturers on Twitter and he tweeted yesterday about how the messages and support he gets from his students absolutely push him to stand on those picket lines in the horrible rain” showing how appreciative staff are of the support they receive.

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Cardiff Students Support the Strike suggest that as students we should also do such things as emailing the Vice Chancellor of the university and making complaints that the university have not done anything to prevent another round of strikes.

The group have usefully informed us that the last deadline to complain about the November strikes is 10th March, while the deadline for the February/March strikes is July 10th.

To find out more about how to get involved with the group, you can find their Facebook and Twitter pages @cardiffstrike.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Here’s everything Jeremy Corbyn said in support of the Cardiff strikes today

UCU Strikes: How it will impact us at Cardiff Uni and what we can do about it

This is what went down at today’s strikes Q&A with the Vice-Chancellor