Manchester students occupy three buildings in one night in support of the strikes

Activists called it their ‘biggest occupation yet’

Last night in what activists called their “biggest occupation yet” students took over three buildings in support of the ongoing UCU strikes.

Students occupied University Place, the Roscoe building and the Simon building simultaneously. At 6pm the students affiliated with UoM Rent Strike and NancyOut split into three groups and entered the buildings at the same time.

All three buildings remained occupied until students joined the picket line this morning on the final day of strike action.

The occupations come after two other occupations this week by the same group of students, bringing it to a total of five occupations that the uni has faced just this week.

A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “A small number of students occupied a couple of campus buildings overnight but are currently not in any building. The buildings are 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.”

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