UCU members were up early and picketing on Thursday 24th March 2011 as strike action over a 0.4% pay rise led to anger amongst academics. The strike at Newcastle University had big lively pickets with music and banners and the support from the students was visible and very welcome, including one Newcastle University student who spoke in support of our action at the mass rally. Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and Shadow Business Minister, sent a message of support.
After picketing, UCU members and students at Newcastle University joined the march against education cuts and marched to the Monument in the centre of Newcastle, where one of the speakers was Barry Gills, UCU President at Newcastle University (below).
Jonny Pickering (below) is a student at Newcastle University and he addressed the mass rally and pledged the support of students to UCU’s action.
The march and rally appeared on Tyne Tees news in the evening and attracted some good publicity, including some supportive articles in the newspaper for Newcastle University students: