Occupy, Strike, Resist: Student responses to strikes in higher education.

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Education, Strike, Students, Sussex, Uncategorized

Students at the University of Sussex have gone into occupation in support of workers on strike tomorrow. Tomorrow’s strike across the higher education sector is a response to attacks on pay. The measly 1% pay increase that has been offered to staff in higher education this year, will equate to a real wage cut of 13% after 3 years of pay freezes. Yet this cut comes at a time when the pay and benefits for university management has increased by more than £5,000 in 2011-12, with the average pay and pensions package for vice-chancellors reaching nearly £250,000. Students at Sussex claim that their vice-chancellor, Micheal Farthing, has alone received a 57% pay and pension rise since 2007.

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The occupation, which takes place in the universities Arts A1 Lecture Theatre will act as an information point for anyone who wishes to find out more about the strike. As well as staging this occupation students will also be joining striking staff on the picket lines tomorrow between 7am-3pm which they encourage other students to join them for. The Occupy Sussex group would also like to make clear that despite attempts by security staff to block entrance to the lecture theatre they fully encourage all students and lecturers scheduled to take part in lectures here today to come and join them.

Not all students are in favour of the occupation though. In the picture below we see members of the Labour and Conservative Future societies shaking hands in united opposition against the occupation. A dark reflexion of their parties support of the vicious attacks on staff and student in higher education.

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Elsewhere

Nursing Students at Sheffield Hallam University are being threatened with sanctions if they choose NOT to cross the picket lines this week. This is a clear attempt by management to stem any student and staff unity in the face of the Tory onslaught on education. At the steel cities other university though the actions at Sussex have been echoed as 50 students have gone into occupation themselves. Students at SOAS have also staged an occupation in solidarity with striking workers.

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Comments
  1. Ravachol says:

    Really good article – surely the final paragraph should read `if they choose NOT to cross picket lines`? Other than that, keep up the good work!

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