Striking lecturers march down Oxford Road

The action is in support of the UCU strikes

At 11:00am today dozens of striking UoM lecturers marched up Oxford road and around uni chanting statements of defiance as part of a national strike by the UCU union.

They were joined by a large number of students who added their voices to chants including "Stealing pensions we say no, Nancy Rothwell's got to go" and "solidarity forever".

Videos of the march can be found here.

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The UCU union is striking based on two separate legal disputes. Previous years disagreements over cuts to the lecturers national pensions scheme (USS) have continued and are now joined by a host of new issues, including pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

These strikes come after the UCU voted 79% in favour of strike action regarding pensions and 74% in favour of striking due to the other issues.

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The Tab Manchester has spoken to a lecturer at UoM who tells us "I'm on a teaching assistants salary. I don't even make enough to pay national insurance. I want more than anything to go on strike, but I can't afford to."

According to 2016 research by the UCU more than half of UK academics are on "insecure contracts", earning as little as £9 an hour. This is despite a lecturer having trained for at least seven years.

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The strikes already have disrupted thousands of students teaching, and the first wave threatens to last for up to 6 more working days. The NUS, MPs, and others have called on the universities to negotiate, but the UCU insist that "they continue to ignore the experts and push forward with their own ideas".

Students opinions on the strikes vary, with some finding alternative ways to spend their weeks. The University of Manchester philosophy society have taken their own approach by offering undergraduate led seminars on "The Epistemology of the Bro Code" and "Rampant commodity fetishism within Toy Story" to make up for the lack of academic led lectures.

Dear all, We are writing in regards to the upcoming strikes.The situation is far from ideal. The strikes may have…

Posted by UoM Philosophy Society on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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