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University strikes turn violent as protesters storm academic building

23 February 2018

Along with 40 other politics students she supports her lecturers" actions, emphasising their "support and solidarity' with staff.

But some were unhappy to be faced with cancelled lectures and seminars on Thursday, with thousands signing petitions demanding compensation for the missed classes. Vice-chancellors from Warwick, Essex, Goldsmiths University of London and others said that the lines of communication should be re-opened with the lecturers union so students wouldn't suffer.

United Kingdom university lectures are in revolt, with industrial action now underway at more than 60 different institutions.

The strikes are an attempt by the UCU to pressure universities to negotiate pension reforms proposed by Universities UK (UUK).

The number of signatories is likely to hit 100,000 by the end of the day, Mr Forde, a UCU member at the University of Leeds who supports the industrial action, added. This would leave a typical lecturer nearly £10,000 a year worse off in retirement.

In lecture sites across the university, UCU members handed out flyers, imploring students going to lectures not to enter their faculty and confronting lecturers as to why they were not participating in strike action. United Kingdom law states staff taking part in the strikes are also not required to inform the University in advance.As a first year student at the uni, the strike probably affects me far less than it would a second or third year, for my grades do not go towards my final degree.

In a video message, Mr Corbyn said: "On behalf of the Labour Party, I want to send solidarity and thanks for all the work you do in our universities and colleges". "Everyone deserves the dignity and security in old age that comes from a decent pension".

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "I have made it clear from the start of this dispute that this mess can only be resolved by negotiation".

Demonstrators outside the Dundee University Tower Building today
Demonstrators outside the Dundee University Tower Building today

Sam Gyimah, the government minister responsible for universities, called on both sides in the dispute to return to talks.

New polling commissioned by the UCU has found that the majority (61%) support strike action by university staff, with almost a fifth (19%) opposed.

Some CSP members may be directly involved in the action because they have a joint membership with the UCU.

"When the strikes first got announced, it was majority against the strikes, just because people didn't fully understand and are rightfully angry that they're missing so much education at such a vital time of the year", she said.

A spokesman said: "UUK remains at the negotiating table, but so far UCU has refused to engage on how best to address the funding challenges facing USS".

"University staff will still have a valuable pension scheme, with employer contributions of 18% of salary, double the private sector average".

"If this round of strikes fails, there is a possibility of further strike action which could affect our exams later on in the year, it could affect marking, and, ultimately, whether we can graduate or not".

University of Essex Registrar Bryn Morris said: "We're working closely with our Students' Union to provide guidance to all students and to minimise the impact on them".

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University strikes turn violent as protesters storm academic building