Protesting Lecturers Change Sign-Holding Technique; Students Continue to Not Care


Striking lecturers protesting on campus today were shocked to discover that even after changing their protest tactics, students still failed to give a damn.

Assembled lecturers and university staff could not comprehend how passing university students could walk by without paying any attention to their plight, despite a revolutionary new double-handed sign-holding technique that reduced the risk of sprains.

“It’s almost as if our decision to blast vuvuzelas outside the library and disrupt the concourse around deadlines made students dislike us before,” complained Physics lecturer Simon Harmon.  “Really, it’s incredibly selfish to ignore us. When we chant and shout at you for breaking the picket line to visit the Union, it’s for a good cause.”

Despite the new approach taken by the protesters, in which they aim to strike at times most likely to cause disruption to the university, students remain as unsympathetic to their plight as they did in December.[quote align=”right” name=”” role=””]It’s almost as if our decision to blast vuvuzelas outside the library and disrupt the concourse around deadlines made students dislike us before[/quote]

“We’re just trying to get their attention,” said History professor Cathy Singh. “Everyone can appreciate the very real and important concerns affecting the staff: pay cuts over the last few years when the Vice-Chancellor gets an exorbitant increase, hiring of new high-level managers to bloat the salary bill, staff living below minimum wage. Those are undeniable issues. We thought disrupting student time, blowing horns outside the library and insulting people who don’t stand with us was the best way to raise awareness, but students just get pissed off. We’re stumped, we really are.”

The lecturers are optimistic, however, that their plans to set off fireworks and form a marching band to parade around Hartley library will be the strategy that finally gets people to sit up and take notice.

Editor and MA English student. Follow on Twitter @SamEverard1

Discussion19 Comments

    • Sam Everard

      I made it fairly clear in the article that I support the cause, but not the methods they’re using. Hence why I included the (actually very concerning) list of issues the lecturers are facing.

      And we’re actually doing fine, thanks.

      • You can’t support a cause if you don’t support the only method of achieving it’s goals. That’s idiotic. It’s like saying you support votes for women, as long as they don’t march for them, or that you support environmentalism but not if it costs you money.

        • Sam Everard

          It’s not like either of those example though, is it? The ‘only method’ for solving this isn’t blowing vuvuzelas outside the library to disrupt students. The only person who needs to pay attention to get this sorted is Don Nutbeam, and I doubt he spends much time in the library. I think what’s happening with the lecturers and their pay is pretty disgraceful, but disrupting students trying to work isn’t helping anyone.

          • Yes, but how do you think you get through to management? By appealing to their better nature? By protesting 100m from the offices that they are hardly ever in? By getting students to ‘sympathise’ with us? Tell me a genuine way we can get Don Nutbeam to change his mind without disrupting what the uni does for customers (i.e. students) and I’d gladly raise it with staff. No-one wants to be making a noise on campus and cancelling lectures.

          • The logic just doesn’t follow.

            Staff strikers clearly don’t think our support is worth anything because they’ve done next to nothing to garner it.
            But they do think, by annoying us enough, we’ll make the VC change his mind somehow?
            If we’re supposed to have the capacity to do that, why not ask us to instead of compromising our education in the hopes we’ll get angry and write a complaint?

            Or is the hope that it will make him pay attention by discouraging future students from attending Southampton… And we can just… Go fuck ourselves?

          • It’s not about getting students to *do* anything. Where do you get the mad idea that you have any power at all in this? Like with any strike, the way you get your message across is by showing what happens when you *refuse to work*. You demand fair pay by showing that the business can’t function without you. Given that were teachers, that means affecting students. I accept this is really crap – but you’re innocent bystanders, not targets.

          • But then elsewhere on this website you’re angry that David Gilani hasn’t expressed support on behalf of students? If our support isn’t worth anything, why do you care?
            By “showing the business can’t function without you” you mean “showing that students can’t pass without you” right?Is it that you’re not convinced withdrawing your labour will actually have enough of a noticeable effect so your solution is to make shit-tonnes of noise and disrupt us as we try to get on with our studies?
            Because that’s not demonstrating what happens when you don’t work, it’s demonstrating what happens when you act like a dickhead.

      • Just for info the noise is mainly made by Unite. They represent cleaners, catering staff and the lowest paid. They also have the most precarious working conditions. I think we can forgive those folk making sure everyone knows about the strike given their poverty pay, working conditions etc.

        Before, during and after every strike action I have invited students (via SUSU president David G) to come and speak to the workers on strike. Maybe this isn’t the best way to invite students in general, but we can only do our best. People are welcome at any point to come and chat. If you’d feel more comfortable I’m more than happy to introduce you to some of the workers – cleaners, catering staff, librarians, lecturers – that I know.

        The industrial action is regrettable. Negotiations between the unions and the employers have been going on at a national level since May 2013. At the moment the employers (an association of VCs who have in general just had huge pay rises and earn 24 times the amount of full time cleaner) are refusing to offer better than a 1% rise. A real terms cut.

        Anyways, all three unions are back on strike on 6th Feb for the full day. Please come and say hello. I’ll be on university road with the Unite members for most of the morning.

  1. Quite right Sam. Bloody plebs. Why don’t they realize how vitally important it is for students not to be disrupted for a couple of days. It’s so mildly frustrating. And for what? “Fair pay and job security”. Bloody liberties! I sincerely hope they learn their place, else I’ll set my footman upon’t them.

  2. This is a strangely ignorant and callous article which lacks even a modicum of basic respect for the lowest paid staff, who, by the way, work hard everyday to make this university the nicest possible playpen for our ambitions. Show them some respect.

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