Student strike solidarity

Written by Campus Comment

Students at Liverpool university received a threatening email ahead of the University and Colleges Union’s industrial action over casualisation, pay and pensions.

Universities Resist Border Controls reported that an email stating that “any international students who choose not to cross picket lines to attend teaching sessions risk jeopardising their visa” had been sent to non-EU students. The same email also alleged that participation in the picket lines is ‘unlawful’. Numerous other universities are engaging in similar bully tactics, as reported by The Guardian, such as encouraging students to report any of their lecturers who strike.

This is part of a larger and uglier picture where UK universities are creating hostility between staff and students.

University management will not tell you that staff receive no pay for all the days they are on strike. They will not tell you that strikes are a last resort and that staff do not want to be on the picket lines but at work. You won’t be told that strikes occur after months of attempted negotiations with executive boards are unwilling to listen. You won’t be told that staff pay more into their pension than ever before but receive less. You won’t be told that staff feel threatened by their institutions for participating in industrial action that is essential to improving their situation. Disruption is not the goal but it is the outcome of a lack of dialogue from universities.

Bullying and scaremongering from universities is commonplace

Many feel universities have become corporations that demand an increasing workload for staff whilst working conditions and pay worsen. The approach that university management are increasingly taking is turning institutions in to businesses with unattainable targets and greater workloads, all whilst cutting pay and making life harder for staff and students.

Student services routinely fail to provide adequate support for students or if they do, are overstretched and understaffed. Newcastle University has failed to provide essential support to student carers, students with mental health issues, survivors of sexual violence and those who have experienced the death of a loved one, among numerous others. Time and time again students and staff are not being given fair provisions by an institution that makes tens of millions of pounds from its various investment ventures.
The bullying and scaremongering from universities is commonplace and is a deliberate attempt to cause divisions. Don’t let university management scare you out of solidarity.

Featured Image: Newcastle University UCU Facebook

Last modified: 9th December 2019

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