Around 300 students and workers demonstrated at Leeds university today. They marched around the campus in defence of jobs and education.
Around 70 students then staged a sit-in at the university's Parkinson building. They held a discussion in the foyer on the campaign's next steps. The lecturers' UCU union called off a strike yesterday when management offered negotiations. Students want to make sure that the campaign doesn't lose momentum during the talks.
Dan, a student in Leeds University Against the Cuts, told Socialist Worker, 'I'm a bit disappointed that the strike was called off. Our side has won a small victory, since management has postponed all compulsory redundancies. But the university will still pressure workers to take voluntary redundancies or early retirement. The campaign has put them on the back foot a bit, so I think workers should go on strike.'
Malcolm Povey is president of the UCU at Leeds University. He told Socialist Worker, 'We've shown that we can defend education, but the fight is not over. Management and the student union criticised us for calling strikes in the first place. They said it would damage education. But if we hadn't called strikes there would have been compulsory redundancies.'
The union has reserved the right to call more strikes if they are not happy with the negotiations.