Bristol Strike Special UCU Newsflash, 6th March

Your Bristol Strike Special UCU Newsflash, 6th March 2018

1) Tomorrow’s Strike Action, Wednesday, 7th March – UCAS Post-Offer Visit Day

First, great to see so many people yesterday. Made the front page of the BBC website (well, the ‘Family and Education’ page).

Some inspiring speeches at the rally and a great march down to Wills Memorial Building (and then Great George Street): it is abundantly clear that ‘what do we want/fair pensions’ is not going away anytime soon.

STOP PRESS: UCU and UUK are meeting today. This follows a UUK volte-face, having originally said that they could only meet us on Wednesday. Nb UUK informed UCU of this via Twitter.

TOMORROW: the main picket line will be outside the Wills Memorial Building. Assemble from 8:30, 10:30 rally and march to College Green.

The Wills Memorial picket is a great opportunity to speak to prospective students and their parents. We are explaining why we are taking action, emphasising why Bristol is a great place to study, and why we are making sure that this continues to be the case.

Many of the events later in the day, at individual Schools, have been cancelled. Biological Sciences and Engineering events are still scheduled.

Please support the Biological Sciences picket at 12:30 at the Life Sciences Building and the Engineering picket at the New Atrium Building, Woodland Road at 12:45 pm.

Colleagues in the School of Humanities are also planning to picket interviews for Head of School 14:00-15:00, and Thursday from 8:00. Meet outside 43 Woodland Road.

And there is a School of Modern Languages teach-out from 14:00 at Cotham Parish Church tomorrow, too. 

2) #OccupyBristolUni

Yesterday students from the Bristol Student-Staff Solidarity group occupied Senate House ‘in solidarity with the national UCU strikes’:

The occupiers are taking part in peaceful protests in support of our lecturers and other staff, who are on strike against attacks to their pensions by Universities UK (UUK). They have stated their commitment to remaining in occupation until Hugh Brady has addressed their demands

Students and staff are rallying as this ‘Flash goes out, in support of the occupation. Students are still in talks with the VC as regards their demands.

For the latest news:

3) UCU On The Up!

With branch membership skyrocketing at Bristol to well over 1,500 (and official stats don’t include any new joiners since 22nd February ), picket lines and local organising forging a new season of campus common purpose and our UK-wide action gaining ground, UCU has never been stronger, thanks, of course, to the hardwork and sacrifice shown by striking members and supportive students.

This as Universities UK, the body responsible as much as any for our present pension woes, is having a shocker!

It is their intransigence, their refusal to sit down and thrash out a resolution to the most significant dispute in HE for a generation, that means ‘it is really critical as we go into ACAS that members support the negotiators who have asked members to keep the action going’.

If you haven’t joined a picket line yet, please do so.

4) IWD, Thursday, 8th March

For Thursday’s day of strike action, we have an International Women’s Day event at Woodlands Church, Woodland Road from 12.00- 13.30.

Confirmed speakers include:

Joanna de Groot (national president of UCU)
Prof. Josie McLellan (UoB, History)
Prof. Havi Carel (UoB, Philosophy & University EDI Champion)
Dr Susan Newman (UWE)
Dr Maud Perrier (UoB, Acting Director of the Gender Research Centre)

See our Gender Pay motion [pdf] for further details.

A student-organised teach-out follows the IWD event. It starts at 14:00 at the Art House.

5) Donate – Local Hardship Fund

Donations already coming in thick and fast for the Fund, from supportive students and staff as well as other trade union branches. For how to donate:

Details about claiming from the Fund are in our Fund’s Terms and Conditions.

See you tomorrow. Save Our Pensions!