Socialist Worker

Students call for solidarity with lecturers

Issue No. 2001

University lecturers in the Natfhe and AUT unions are continuing to boycott marking as part of their fight for decent pay.

The media are focusing on a number of student unions that have opposed the action. But many students back their lecturers and are organising solidarity.

Sam Ross is a first year student at Sheffield University. He told Socialist Worker, “The vice-chancellor here is threatening to dock lecturers’ pay by up to 30 percent if they continue with the action. Lecturers had a meeting on Monday of this week and a group of students showed our support.

“Students need to stand side by side with lecturers. We need to be clear that this is really about much more than money. It is about the future of education.

“It is vital that joint meetings with students and lecturers are held so that the issues can be talked through. At my university the feeling is polarised.

“Students have every right to be concerned about their marks, but the lecturers have talked with the bosses for years and got nowhere.

“They had to take action, and the dispute would end tomorrow if the employers would agree to pay them a decent salary.

“The bosses are backed up in this dispute by the government, which is attacking education. It has forced students into thousands of pounds of debt.

“Students should be organising to the national demonstration in Newcastle on 1 June. We must make it clear that we support the lecturers 100 percent, just like they supported us in our fight over fees.”

Penny, a student at Aberdeen university, said, “We’ve collected over 900 signatures in support of the lecturers and on Monday we occupied the principal’s office. Our principal is a chair of the Scottish employers’ body.

“They are trying to recruit postgraduate students to scab, but in my department the postgrads are still refusing to mark work.”

For more go to Northumbria lecturers to strike against pay attack

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Sat 20 May 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2001
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