Lecturers join strikes

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Lecturers at the University of Southampton have joined thousands of others in the largest day of industrial unrest since the 1979 winter of discontent.

Up and down the country today thousands of teachers, civil servants, health workers and local government workers in Hampshire have walked out on their usual roles to join the action against the proposed changes to pension schemes.

These public sector workers are manning dozens of picket lines outside the university, hospital, job centre and tax office to show their anger at the government’s plans to make them pay higher pension contributions.

The union was further provoked yesterday by the government’s plans to cap public sector pay rises by one percent when the current wage freeze ends.

When asked about the purpose of the strike, lecturers outside the university, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It’s not that we want the students to suffer but we need to stand up for what we believe in, what we’ve worked hard for. In fact, I know many members of staff are still running one to one sessions with students’.

Accountants, James Cowper, estimate that this industrial action will cost the Hampshire economy £10m.

The strikers will join to march down to the city centre at lunchtime, where all roads will be closed. Up to 10,000 union members and supporters will participate in the march through Southampton for a rally in the Guildhall square. This is expected to be one of the largest protest gatherings in the south.

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Discussion6 Comments

  1. avatar

    I agree with David, It’s an outrage that our lecturers will be forced to miss out on sums of up to £100,000 by the end of their career, pay more and retire later. All of their money goes straight to the treasury to be dished out to banks. I’m pretty sure my humble lecturers had nothing to do with the banking crisis…

  2. avatar

    Are state pensions a right or a privilege? I can understand that public sector workers do not want to work longer and have to pay higher contributions but the same happened in the private sector in 2008. At the end of the day I am sure there are lots of people who are out of work that are envious of what the public workers (and private) have.

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