On the final week of the staff and student strike at the University of Nottingham, Impact spoke to picketers at the North Entrance of University Park Campus.
Maths professor, Markus Owen, who was present during one of the early morning pickets stated he supports the strikes, because he would “like to be able to recommend an academic career for PhD students here at Nottingham.”
He continued by pointing out he still supports ongoing strikes after the decision has been made to reject the USS pension proposal.
“Working conditions for all staff in universities have deteriorated and this has affected the students”
Markus was “surprised how many new colleagues were out on the picket lines every day” during the 4-week period. He explained that students were equally supportive, with “PhD students being the heart of the strikes”.
Another member of staff, English lecturer and President of Branch, Matt Green, told us his reasons for striking: “Working conditions for all staff in universities have deteriorated and this has affected the students”. He believes if this doesn’t change ”things will continue to get worse in the future”.
He also expressed his concern for the way “universities are thinking of students as consumers without paying attention to investing in students and professors alike”.
“Schools are working to minimise disruption by rescheduling sessions where possible”
Similarly to Markus Owen, Matt is also supportive of the ongoing strikes caused by the rejection of the new proposal on pensions.
He explains he has “received lots of support from the Student’s Union, along with supportive messages from students”.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Shearer West, e-mailed another open letter to students last week stating: “My first consideration has been to minimise any disruption to our student community”. She reassured students that “schools are working to minimise disruption by rescheduling sessions where possible, providing resources through Moodle and extending deadlines”.
Emma Heasman and Sophie Hunt
Featured image courtesy of Impact Images.
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