Students have shown support for striking lecturers by launching the Manchester Students Strike Support Network (MSSSN). The organisation aims to educate students on why they should support the University and College Union (UCU)’s industrial action, as well as encouraging students to support striking lecturers on picket lines.
MSSSN was created by several campaigning organisations at the university in an attempt to organise students who want to support their striking lectures from the 25th of November to the 4th of December.
The launch, attended by over 50 students and academics, was organised by students Lotte Boumelha, Wilf Kenning and Frank Roche. At the launch, attendees had the opportunity to share why they are supporting the strike, which has been organised by the UCU over concerns about pensions, pay and working conditions.
Speaking at the event, English Literature lecturer Mike Sander said “We are so thankful for the solidarity shown to us by students and MSSSN. Wednesday’s meeting showed that many students are aware of the challenges facing our profession and why we are reluctantly having to take industrial action.
“We hope the university recognises that the interests of students and academics are aligned, and that the way to stop further industrial action is to engage with the UCU and address our concerns.”
Student and MSSSN organiser Wilf Kenning said: “I was at the university during the last period of industrial action. It is a complete injustice that almost two years on, the university have still not engaged in good faith with the UCU over their concerns and disregarded their pensions, pay and working conditions.
“We have been inundated with students asking us what they can do to support the strike and that is what MSSSN will be doing: showing the university that we stand with our lecturers in the face of the growing marketisation of their profession and the worsening of their wages and working conditions.”