Today was a beautiful day for Nottingham students supporting the UCU (University and College Union) striking workers AND opposing the cuts to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes. Dedicated NSAFC members started the day at 7:30AM on the picket lines at each entrance of Nottingham University, informing and encouraging students and staff to not cross the line. We joined strikers, excellent speakers and other supporters in large numbers for a late morning rally in Market Square in the sunshine. Later on in the afternoon we supported approximately two hundred ESOL teachers and students for a rally against the cuts to ESOL classes. Photos of both actions are in the slideshow below.
WE, NOTTINGHAM STUDENTS AGAINST FEES & CUTS, EXPRESS OUR STAUNCH SUPPORT FOR AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE UCU
of Nottingham University / NTU and the UCU groups on strike nationwide. We stand with staff members in their attempt to defend their pension schemes from the cuts that are being imposed and which will have a drastic detrimental effect on the education sector and thus society as a whole. These cuts affect our community, students and staff alike, as they threaten not only jobs but educational establishments, irreparably damaging the overall value and quality of education.
We recognise the intrinsic links between the cause of the staff and our own as students. Therefore, we fully support staff opposition to:
–The proposed cut in salaries and further erosion of conditions;
–The cuts to the teaching budgets which will doubtlessly have a detrimental
impact on education, particularly in the social sciences, arts and humanities;
–The 300% increase in tuition fees which is in effect transferring the cost of
education to students and burdening our generation with a lifetime of debt,
–The cuts to the EMA – a vital lifeline to many marginalised and non-traditional
students who otherwise couldn’t continue with education,
–The further marketisation of education including attempts by the
ConDem government to redirect funding to research areas which are
perceived to make a short-term economic impact.
It is also critical to call attention to:
–The disproportional effects these austerity measures will have on youth
and women, both students and staff
–The likelihood that University resources supporting graduates will be first cut,
perpetuating high graduate unemployment
–The elimination of routes to academic employment for post-graduate students
–The erosion of support for adult education learning grants and programmes as well as those for English for Speakers of other Languages (ESoL)
–The way in which the cuts will hinder students from becoming community role models by drastically reducing their extracurricular opportunities.
We see education as a right for all and a social good, key to social mobility and cohesion, and the foundation of a functional society. We deem these measures an ideological attack on the majority of society and urge all students to support UCU nationwide in their strike actions and on the picket lines.
Our Make Music, Not Cuts fundraiser was a big hit! We raised over £330 from the support of an amazing Notts community. Subtract the venue fees, and we earned £270! THANK YOU to ALL THE ARTISTS, VOLUNTEERS, VENUE STAFF and AUDIENCE MEMBERS who made last night a huge success.
Photos of the event below.
Nottingham Council House is occupied after a council meeting tried to eject members of the public. People tried to attend a meeting discussing budget cuts but were asked to leave; they were then offered a private meeting on the condition they left the building immediately. They refused, and the Council House is now occupied.
Thurs 17 March – Make Music, Not Cuts
Live Music and *Bring and Buy* Rummage Sale Fundraiser at The Maze, Mansfield Road, Nottingham
Doors and Open Mic at 7pm, Show at 8pm
Saturday 26th March – TUC ‘March for the alternative’:
London – initial details of route are here –