Oxford students once again marched through the streets of the city centre yesterday in support of UCU industrial action as staff and lecturers across the university went on strike.
Tuesday had been announced by the union as the second day of industrial action of the term and saw students wielding banners and stopping traffic as they marched down the High Street. Protesters also briefly entered the Oxford Martin Centre in protest against the closure of what was once the history faculty.
The strike was prompted by UCU claims that the staff at Oxford and Oxford Brookes have not seen their pay rise with inflation and as such have seen wage decreases of 13%.
Dr. Dan Butt, an Oxford lecturer who took part in the strike, commented “I’m a member of UCU and a supporter of the trade union movement – in my view, if your union strikes, you strike. I am not in favour of the austerity agenda of the current Government, and am pleased that people are standing together against it.”
Katherine Baxter, a first year Keble student who supported the strike, commented “I am supporting the strike rally today and am supporting the picket lines by refusing to attend lectures. I believe that under the current government, education in this country is being repeatedly devalued and that the cut to staff salary is a key example of this trend. I am supporting the Staff strike because I believe a situation in which staff are experiencing a 13% real terms pay cut since 2008 whilst students are facing increased fees is unworkable. I believe that if we, as students, hope to be supported with relation to the sell off of the student loan book and the threats of further increases to fees we must show our support and work in solidarity with our staff now.”