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UoN Student-Staff Solidarity Occupation

A collective of students gathered in the Trent building foyer occupying both the space outside the Vice Chancellor’s office and the presiding hallways. This non-violent action comes ahead of a number of concerns about higher education institutions.

The group have set out a list of commands specifically to the University of Nottingham via their official Facebook page ‘UoN Student-Staff Solidarity Occupation’:

  1. Recommence talks with UCU staff to improve their wages and pensions and, as a result, our education.
  2. End the outsourcing of labour through UniTemps or any similar company through which the university benefits from exploitative 0 hours contracts.
  3. Put an end to draconian attendance monitoring for students and staff. For too long, the university has threatened international students with deportation.
  4. Demilitarise the engineering department. By which we mean end affiliation with Rolls Royce, Boeing and BAE arms departments.

The official UCU strike began on the 25thNovember and has not seen any significant developments in the dispute despite coordinated action across the UK. Moreover, there has been student-staff solidarity occupations on the same scale. Notably, University of Exeter occupied five lecture halls and eight seminar rooms. The University of Nottingham Student-Staff Solidarity Occupation has blocked access to the Vice Chancellor’s office in order to appeal to Shearer West directly, and ask that she break ranks with her administrative colleagues to publicly support the strike. Akin, third-year management student, told Impact,

“I think it is crucial for the students to support the strike since it’s the second one in two years and the demands of our lecturers have still not been met. They have to live with the knowledge that they might not be able to afford their livelihoods after their retirement and that anxiety is reflected in each and every lecture. The quality and conditions of our education are directly linked to the mental and physical health of our lecturers which are disproportionately affected by the pension cuts at the moment.”

The group plans to occupy the space indefinitely, they welcome students to join and have stipulated they will move when action is taken.

Ellie Stainforth-Mallison

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