The University of Manchester’s Students’ Union has announced that it supports the upcoming UCU strikes.
In a statement, posted to the official Manchester Students’ Union’s (SUs) Instagram account, the SU stated that it “appreciate[s] that our staff’s teaching environment is our learning environment” and thus stands in support of the UCU.
The UCU, the union that represents further and higher education academic and support staff in the UK, announced that all branches would participate in three days of strikes in November.
These days were announced as November 24, 25, and 30.
Strikes on November 24 and 25 will be held on University campuses, whilst on November 30 the industrial action will culminate in a demonstration in London.
In a continuation of the SUs statement, they acknowledged that the fight was not about “staff vs. students” but “reflects a bigger issue regarding management and operations within Universities and the Government”.
The Students’ Union is planning on supporting students affected by the strikes by holding “teach outs” – a series of lectures covering a variety of subjects – on the days of industrial action.
The Manchester Socialist Worker Student party took to social media to commend the Students’ Union’s decision to support industrial action.
However, it criticised the Students’ Union’s wish to help “foster discussions between the UCU and the University” instead calling for it to encourage students down to the picket lines, which have been, historically, sparsely populated at the University of Manchester.
The Students’ Union maintains that it represents the students of the university and that it will do its best to mediate the impact of the strikes on the student body, including students who teach (for example Graduate Teaching Assistants).
Student officers will be present in the Student Union building all day “to answer any questions and hear your thoughts” about the strikes.