During the first two days of UCU strikes over workload, pay, and pensions, a series of “teach-outs” were held in the SU.
The teach-outs were put on in the Hive. The Students’ Union collaborated with lecturers to offer opportunities for learning and discussion on strike days, and ranged from informal conversations to lecture-like talks.
Thursday’s sessions focused on issues spanning from the need for industrial action to the breaches of human rights in Iran. The first teach-out, “Why we strike”, was led by Morgan Powell.
Only a small number attended, but the teach out saw discussions surrounding the successes of the trade union movement and its shortcomings in relation to race and gender.
Attendance began to pick up in the afternoon however, for the “Iran: Day of Discussion” session led by the Women, Life, Freedom Society and the sessions on inequality in education delivered by the UMUCU and The Forum with the Manchester Labour Society.
Manchester Free University held another teach-out on Friday on “Utopian Future”, to discuss alternative political models to capitalism.
Despite limited numbers at teach outs, the turnout for Friday’s protest as well as on the pickets was very encouraging for Manchester’s UCU branches.
The march began at 11:30am outside the Quad on UOM’s campus, continuing along Oxford Road and bringing traffic heading into the city centre to a halt.
At St Peter’s Square, a number of speakers, including UCU and CWU reps, students and local MP for Salford and Eccles, Rebecca Long-Bailey, addressed an enthusiastic crowd.
With significant student support and solidarity from up and down the country, Manchester’s UCU branches geared up for another day of industrial action on Wednesday, where pickets were held in addition to a large march in London.