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We spoke to Guild Officer Rory Hughes about the ongoing UCU strikes

Find out how you can get involved

With little progress being made in negotiations between the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK), staff from over sixty universities across the UK will continue to participate in strike action with the hope of finally settling the ongoing pension dispute. So as the strikes enter their third week, The Tab Liverpool spoke to Guild Officer, Rory Hughes, about Liverpool’s response to the strikes and how students can get involved.

Hi Rory, why do you think it is important that Liverpool students get involved with the strikes?

Liverpool is in the unique position that our university’s Vice Chancellor, Janet Beer, is also the president of UUK. If we can put pressure on Janet Beer, then that could make a big difference to bringing the strike action to an end. We (Liverpool students) are at the centre of this and I think that’s really exciting and we should use our leverage in this situation to bring the strike to an end.

Can student support for the strikes really make a difference?

Student support for the strike is really working. The occupation of the Foundation Building by Liverpool Students for Pensions was referenced in The Guardian when referring to UUK re-entering negotiations and the pressure being placed on UUK and Janet Beer. Looking at the news and what’s happening on campus – students are making a real difference.

What is your message to students who are perhaps angry with the disruption that the strikes may have posed to their education?

It’s really difficult and we as a student’s union understand how disruptive this is. However, what I would say is, direct your anger and frustration towards the university management, in particular, Janet Beer. I would also say, look at The Guild’s website and the guidance we’ve given out.

How can Liverpool students show their support for striking staff and get involved?

There are a variety of things you can do and it is important that students do get involved as student support will help bring the strikes to a close sooner. So here’s what you can do:

1) Go on The Guild’s website and sign the petition for Janet Beer to come out against the pension cuts.

2) Go on The Guild’s website and write an email to Janet Beer asking her to scrap the pension cuts.

3) Talk to your lecturers and let them know that you support them. If you feel up to it, you can even join them on the picket line.

4) Read up about what’s going on. Stay in the loop.

5) Come to student-lecturer solidarity events. Last week’s University Clubbers Union event raised loads of money and had an amazing turnout in support of our university staff. Get involved!