Manchester students supporting the strikes occupy another building

‘The uni really needs to learn to lock their doors behind them’

Student activists last night took over the University of Manchester’s Alliance Business School building in support of the ongoing UCU strikes.

It comes after at least 20 occupiers took over the Samuel Alexander building on Tuesday night before leaving to join the UCU picket lines on Wednesday morning.

With two buildings occupied in the last two days, the University of Manchester has now faced four occupations in just over a year. As one occupier said: “The uni really needs to learn to lock their doors behind them.”

It’s worth remembering the two occupations before this week cost the uni nearly £25,000 in extra security costs with an additional 1,441 hours of overtime worked by uni security.

Strike action is due to continue until this Friday at 58 universities across the country. On Friday staff from across four Manchester unis: the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the Royal Nothern College of Music will be linking up for a joint rally and march.

UoM UCU branch President, David Swanson told The Manchester Tab: “We love the Manchester students, the solidarity we’ve had from them has been immense.

“They’ve kept us going and we’re really sorry for any disruption but we’re doing it for you, we’re doing it for education and we hope you can come stand with us on the picket lines.”

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “A small number of students occupied one of our buildings overnight but are currently not in the building. The building is operating as usual and any teaching room changes will be communicated directly to staff and students.

“We recognise the right of staff colleagues to take strike action, but are extremely concerned about the impact on our whole community, particularly on our students who have suffered so much over the past 20 months. We are doing everything we can to minimise any impact on their teaching, learning and wider experience.

“The industrial action at our University is in respect of pay and employment conditions, where the UCU vote just exceeded the legal 50% threshold for action (50.4%). In total, 728 staff voted in favour of such action. We have more than 12,500 staff across our University. Pay and pensions are negotiated nationally by UCEA and UUK respectively, so we are unable to make any changes at a local, Manchester level.

“We are discussing with our Students’ Union how any strike pay which is withheld can be used to benefit our students.”

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