Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Reasons for Supporting the UCU

Aber Students Against Cuts

Statement in support of the UCU strike

Lecturers make up the main component of our education. We support their fight for adequate pensions, pay and working conditions.

We believe that education should free and fair to all, and we oppose the unjust market-drive rhetoric that's being directed at education and those who provide it.

Many of our lecturers have shown their dedication to academia and the public sector by the length of their service. With a marketplace that is already uncertain for academics, requiring them to move regularly to peddle their expertise across the country it's only right that they have adequate pensions and secure pay. Currently they are not even getting paid inflation. This is completely unacceptable.

This is just the latest attack on the institute of higher education and the public sector as a whole.

By forcing students to pay for their education you reduce them to consumers, which in turn reduces lectures to mere service providers. It's important that we ensure the academic freedom of the lecturers; due to Margaret Thatcher's legacy, they can't defend this themselves.

There are real alternatives to the problems facing higher education funding and we recognise this; what we are seeing are ideological choices, not political necessities. We also recognise that it is the lecturers and students who make the university what it is.

It is the public sector, including students and lecturers, who are being made to pay, not the overzealous banking system who caused many problems that the country is now dealing with. Before cutting funding to the most vulnerable and the most valuable parts of society, the government should look at viable alternatives to the non-progressive market-driven policies they are currently forcing upon society.

We hope for a quick solution to the problem, so that students and lecturers can go back to their respective professions.

It is in every student's best interest to support their lecturers before students find themselves with even less contact hours and support than we currently suffer from.

Ways to support your lecturers and tutors:
  1. Write to them, saying that you support their fight for a fair and just profession.
  2. Write to Noel Lloyd at ngl@aber.ac.uk or noel.lloyd@aber.ac.uk and remind him that we love our education and appreciate those who provide it.
  3. Write to your lecturers, seminar tutors and head of department and tell them you won't be attending in solidarity with the lecturers.
  4. Attend the picketline with the lecturers.
  5. Bring food and drinks to the picketline.

Their fight is our fight, and it is important that we are not divided from the people who make our education what it is. We stand alongside our lecturers - we are all in this together!

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