Strikes continue as students and staff show solidarity

Published

Image of students supporting UCU strike

Credit: Geograph/Dave Pickersgill

Ruairidh Campbell
Writer

Amid the furore surrounding the arrival of one of Glasgow’s worst snow storms, picket lines and speeches have continued at the main campus. A return to full-service on Monday will coincide with week three of the UCU’s planned strikes, and as students and staff prepare for 4 more days of industrial action, there is optimism that a resolution is not far away.

After two weeks of both sides stating that they want to restart negotiations, the UCU and UUK will return to the table on Monday with the latter having come under intense pressure to rethink its reforms to pension schemes for teaching members of staff.

In Glasgow, University Principal Sir Anton Muscatelli joined the picket line last week in a show of solidarity with striking staff, urging those in higher authority to resume talks in the hope of finding a viable solution. On a national scale Cambridge University, who have considerable influence in the UUK, finally called for a solution to be found following disruption caused by the strike.

The unprecedented wave of industrial action has caused significant disruption, as deadlines are pushed back, presentations cancelled and exam papers requiring some rewriting to take in to account the teaching time lost.

Despite the resumption of talks this week, it is possible that strike action will continue as normal, causing disruption on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The picket line will remain in place as it has done from 8am-1pm each day, however those organising the campaign of solidarity have also organised a number of events for students to participate in over the coming days.

Wednesday will see a series of workshops take place in the QMU from 1-5pm. These are not all linked with the strike, instead discussing a wide range of issues from “how accessible is our campus” to a session learning protest songs and their backgrounds.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening a party has been organised to celebrate the half way point of the strikes, and the significant work that students and staff have undertaken in solidarity.

The adverse weather looks to be over, and the coming weeks will again reveal students and staff hopeful that weeks of intensive campaigning will be enough to finally pressure both parties into meaningful negotiations.