By a Strathclyde occupier
On Tuesday morning we occupied the largest lecture theatre on campus. With classes being cancelled we wrote up a 3 point plan of demands:
Full negotiation with UCU over:
a. The Gender Pay Gap & Ethnic Pay Gap
c. Precarious Contracts
d. Working Conditions
The resignation of Senior Management.
Full Investigation into rampant mismanagement, alleged corruption and irresponsible fossil fuel investment at the University of Strathclyde.
After receiving extensive media coverage that included full publication of our demands, and after learning of extensive class cancellations and rearrangements of the room, we decided to end our occupation of 50 hours. This additionally allowed us to attend a UCU teach in scheduled for the day. That however was only our 1st occupation. Strike action continues until Wednesday.
New National UCU policy prohibits direct interaction between occupiers and UCU branches – however we know the occupation increased morale on the pickets. We were also able to arrange the UCU picket to be outside when we left our occupation.
Management at Strathclyde took the same approach as last time of blocking anybody from coming in, except compromising on allowing our Student Union President to visit us. Particular challenges therefore included finding ways to use the logistics of the room (multiple doors/exits) to get our way around this rule as we did successfully.
Response from uni was mixed. Management never directly made contact with us but our student union president was in contact with them. Since the denial of food and threatened bathroom access from last year there was a direct interest not to be ‘seen’ to be harsh on us.
The University of Strathclyde has a unique mismanagement and alleged corruption problem. This stems from workplace bullying, alleged mishandling of sexual abuse claims, and all the way to the university still being deeply invested in fossil fuels. We plan to continue finding ways to ensure the current situation is known and to put calls out for Senior Management to resign and for there to be a full investigation of the University.
If you have a group of people wanting to get involved in support and to do direct action- stand up for what you believe in – your only regret will be not starting sooner.
Follow them at@strath_occupied!