Students are occupying three UoN lecture theatres in support of the strikes

They say they will continue to escalate until their demands are met

Nottingham students are occupying Coates Auditorium, Keighton Auditorium and Monica Partridge Lecture Theatre in solidarity with the on going strikes.

The students were first only occupying Coates. Then they moved to Keighton. Now, they are occupying both, as well as Monica Partidge Lecture Theatre simultaneously.

They say they will continue to escalate until their demands are met.

Specially, they are demanding the following: for the university to engage in “good faith” negotiations with the UCU, to commit to being a living wage employer, to “demilitarise UoN”, to democratise university governance, end a “hostile environment” for international students, and to provide more support for mental health services.

Today, Friday 25 February, marks the fifth consecutive day of the student occupation.

The UCU strikes began on Monday 14th February and are scheduled to intermittently carry on until next Wednesday, totalling a period of 10 days.

The UCU (University College Union) and its strikers are demanding for pension cuts to be reversed and for uni staff pay rises. They are also seeking better working conditions for staff.

This is not the first time students have occupied university buildings. A group of students occupied the Engineering and Science Learning Centre in May last year demanding tuition fee and rent rebate. In 2019, an occupation in the Trent Building also took place.

A University of Nottingham spokesperson said: “We are monitoring the situation to ensure protest is conducted peacefully and safely. Action is already being taken that would address some of the grievances expressed in the UCU industrial action. Reforms to the pension scheme, backed up by £1.3 billion support from universities, would keep contributions affordable for members and retain defined benefits rarely seen in other schemes. A significant proportion of our staff received pay increases this year of between 3.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent, we are already piloting a model to end the use of so-called casual contracts, and we are reducing our gender and ethnic pay gaps.”