UK university lecturers, college staff and students hold joint protest in London
1 March 2018
Around four thousand university lecturers, college staff and students demonstrated in London yesterday. The protest, called by the University and College Union (UCU) was held on the last day of this week’s three-day strike by lecturers against attacks on their pensions by the employers’ body—Universities UK (UUK). The college workers were staging the first day of a two-day strike at 14 Further Education (FE) institutions nationwide in opposition to a derisory one percent pay increase.
The march, held during a snowstorm and in freezing weather, began at Malet Street before proceeding through central London to a rally at Westminster Central Hall, near Parliament.
World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending the demonstration.
Kate is a lecturer at the Institute of the Americas at University College London (UCL). She said, “One of the main reasons that I’m out on strike is that I am looking towards the future without defined benefits. It means living the last decades of your life with a lot of uncertainty, an inability to plan. It’s also a step towards the individualisation of higher education that I feel strongly to be a collective enterprise at all levels.”
Kate explained the impact of the highly causualised Higher Education (HE) sector, saying, “I’m now on a permanent contract two years out of my PhD, but for a lot of my peers it’s very much a case of year to year contracts, term to term. And coming through graduate work now, you look towards the future with a lot of anxiety about the casualisation of your workplace and the increasing disparity between the haves and the…