Edinburgh University Anti-Cuts Coalition

Edinburgh students stage sit-in in support of striking staff

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Around 40 students at the University of Edinburgh have stormed the office of the University’s finance director in support of striking staff, and are currently holding a sit-in protest.

Lecturers and support staff in universities across the UK are in an industrial dispute with employers over a pay offer that they claim represents a real-terms cut of 13% over five years and will be walking out tomorrow (Tuesday).

Kirsty Haigh, Edinburgh University Students’ Association’s Vice-President and one of the students currently in the occupation, explained why they were there. “Edinburgh University – and the university sector generally – has plenty of money. We see this every day with millions going on vanity projects and senior managers pay. We are calling on the University to see sense and give staff the pay they deserve.”

“University staff have had a real term pay cut of 13% and this is not acceptable. While the Principal earns £227,000, staff have been forced out on strike to demand the wage they deserve. We demand that the University listens to the trade unions and increases staff pay.”

 Last week, the Students’ Association sent a letter to all staff “actively encouraging them to take strike action”. The letter stated that “in the short term this will indeed affect our education, but the long term benefits are significantly vaster. It is critical that students and staff struggle collectively.”

Tomorrow’s strikes follow an earlier day of walk-outs on the 31st of October, which saw the National Union of Students and Students’ Associations across Scotland coming out to show support for their staff, resisting what they said were attempts by management to ‘divide and rule’.

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