University lecturers to strike as wave of industrial action continues

Strike action at Goldsmiths last year Pic: Ed Holt

Lecturers and other staff at Goldsmiths, University Of London, in New Cross, will be walking out on tomorrow and Friday in the latest series of strikes by members of the University and College Union.

They will be among nearly 70,000 UCU members taking part in the industrial action across the United Kingdom. Lecturers at Queen Mary, also part of the University of London, in Mile End, will also be taking action.

The strike days are part of 18 days of strikes in a long-running dispute over pay and pensions. Lectures, seminars and workshops are likely to be disrupted for students, although many are also likely to support staff on the picket line.

The strikes are part of a wave of actions affecting the Eastlondonlines areas and across the capitol.

Further strikes by NHS physiotherapy staff and ambulance workers in London are also taking place this week as the series of disputes over pay and levels of services in the NHS continue. Teachers in London who are members of the National Education Union will next go on strike on March 2.

Goldsmiths lecturers also took part in the biggest day of strike action so far last Wednesday, February 1 alongside school teachers, train drivers and civil servants.

Teachers gather in Central London. Pic: Lilly Khaokham

Lewisham Trades Union Council posted on Twitter: 

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The NEU stated that nearly 85 per cent of schools across the United Kingdom had been fully or partially closed due to strike action on February 1, with thousands of supporters going to central London for the national rally.  

One of those involved in the protests, Janet Evans, told East London Lines:  

“There are teachers from everywhere: north London, south London, Lewisham, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, everywhere.” 

“It is so important because teachers are fighting not just for pay but they are also fighting for the state of education; for education to remain in public hands and not be privatised and not be academized. It is absolutely fantastic to be here supporting the teachers”. 

Damien Egan, the Mayor of Lewisham, called on the Government to act:

“This is a challenging time for schools and headteachers who, like local authorities, have had to face relentless cuts to their budgets by the Government.” 

“The Government must ensure that all schools receive the funding they require to provide our children with the education they deserve. An important part of that should be ensuring that teachers and school staff are fairly rewarded for their hard work”. 

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