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In pictures: Cambridge students march in support of staff striking over pensions

Over 200 Cambridge students marched through the city today to support striking lecturers and univers..

By admin , in Cambridge , at February 23, 2018

Over 200 Cambridge students marched through the city today to support striking lecturers and university staff.

University and college staff across the country are on strike today after the University and College Union (UCU) called for "serious and sustained industrial action" in the face of damaging proposals to change the benefits structure of USS, the pension scheme for academic and professional staff at over 300 UK higher education institutions.

Picket lines were in place all over the city as dozens of Cambridge's UCU members took action, which is scheduled to continue this month and in March.

Of 784 UCU members entitled to vote in the ballot on industrial action at Cambridge, 403 voted for strike action and 429 voted for action short of a strike.

In solidarity with their teachers, student campaigning group Cambridge Defend Education organised a march today (Thursday, February 22) to demand the fair treatment of staff and condemn the role Cambridge and other elite universities have played in dismantling pensions.

Carrying flares and banners, students marched through the town around market square, down Senate House Passage and Burrell's Walk, then past the University Library to the Sidgwick site.

Have a look at our gallery of photos:

The group then occupied Senate House lawn where campaigners held a picnic and chanted: "They say marketise, we say organise!", and, "Students and workers, unite and fight!"

Speeches were given encouraging students not to attend lectures on strike days, and to donate to the UCU strike fund to support staff in hardship.

Amy Clark, spokeswoman for Cambridge Defend Education, said: "UK and university managements are attempting to divide students and staff by framing this strike as damaging to the ‘student experience’.

"But students know that what really damages their education is fees rising while staff suffer real terms pay cuts and worse conditions, and increasingly extortionate rents to fund shiny new buildings.

"This wage grab is part of the project of turning education into a market, and putting what ought to be a shared public good up for sale."

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