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Universities & Schools

This article is over 20 years, 11 months old
Students at Glasgow University staged a \"die-in\" outside the Student Representative Council offices last week.
Issue 1734

Students at Glasgow University staged a ‘die-in’ outside the Student Representative Council offices last week.

They were protesting at the council’s decision not to run a coach to the blockade of the Faslane nuclear naval base on 12 February.

With a huge banner declaring, ‘The only good nukes are no nukes’, and Rage Against the Machine on the stereo, students from the Socialist Worker Student Society, Glasgow University Anarchists and Brian Quail, chair of Scottish CND, ‘died’ on the main road through the university.

Many other students stopped to look on and agreed that nuclear weapons are insane.

In 15 minutes the students had distributed over 200 leaflets and received huge support for the Faslane blockade.

Who said students are apathetic?

The management have pushed staff working at the union bar at UCE in Birmingham too far. Since September they have cut hours from nine a week to three and a half, leaving students with just £13 a week wages.

They have stopped taxi fares, which make sure students get a safe journey home. The furious staff have called meetings to discuss what action they can take, including strikes, organising a boycott of the bar, or getting a vote of no confidence in the management.

In the same week Peter Knight, the vice-chancellor of UCE, was quoted in the Guardian speaking out against student debt!

Hundreds of lecturers and staff at Sheffield Hallam University are balloting for strike action against the university management’s bullying attitude.

Lecturers in the NATFHE union have been taken off the payroll because they have followed the union’s national work to rule over pay. This has created huge bitterness and seen two demonstrations of around 300 staff members.

‘Our management have brought in two supposed management experts from Connex and the mines to curb our industrial action,’ one lecturer told Socialist Worker.

NATFHE members have now withdrawn from the work to rule but along with staff in the UNISON union have begun to ballot for strike action.


Strike action at Coatbridge College has been suspended for a maximum of three weeks by the college lecturers’ EIS union emergency committee.

This is to set terms of reference for arbitration. However, lecturers in the union branch had voted to continue their action. We were disappointed at the strikes being called off but we remain united and determined.

Lecturers have taken eight days of strike action for a decent pay claim for 1999-2000. The action is also about how education has suffered since incorporation in 1993 and the introduction of the market into colleges.

The strikes were solid and the picket lines well attended. Our action has united the EIS members, and has received support from many colleges and schools.


Over 200 people attended a conference promoting comprehensive education at the University of London Union last Saturday.

The speakers included Tony Benn MP and Michael Rosen. They outlined how selection in education was failing children and teachers in our schools. The conference clearly reflected a growing mood of confidence.

In the workshop on privatisation and the business agenda people reported on the success of their campaigns around the country. Issues such as neo-liberalism, globalisation and the role of the state were also discussed.
PAULA CHAMPION (conference delegate from Leeds NUT and Leeds CASE)

Open meeting to discuss building a broad, united campaign for comprehensive education. Saturday 24 March, 1-3pm, Camden Town Hall, London.

Around 120 parents and teachers joined a march through Bristol city centre last weekend to protest at school closures.

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