Despite the dreadful weather, and anxieties expressed by some members about the timing of this strike, we have had a very successful day, mounting picket lines and even collecting for the Branch’s hardship fund. The University was noticeably quiet with very few academic staff at work. The visit by the General Secretary was a real boost. On behalf of the Branch Executive, I would like to thank all of those who supported the NEC’s call to take action – and especially those who braved the weather and joined the picket lines.
Pickets were in force at Northumbria University Campuses on Thursday 10th May 2012 for a one-day strike, as the union continues to campaign against government imposed changes to TPS. These changes are already beginning to have an impact as increased pension contributions took effect in April and members of TPS found their wage packets somewhat lighter.
UCU’s Sally Hunt was in Newcastle to visit pickets and speak to members and representatives of UCU, accompanied by Iain Owens (Regional Official) and John McCormack (who becomes Vice-President of UCU next month). After picket line duty, members went to the Rally at Newcastle Grey’s Monument to hear the speakers, including Kevin McHugh from PCS. His speech can be found here:
A news report about the Rally, including an interview with Unite’s Martin Wright, can be found here:
Northumbria University Branch Chair of UCU, Martin Levy, spoke about the strike action: