We’ve had a great first day of the strike. Lovely to see 600 of you come down to Main Building for a rally, alongside the work you’re all doing at your individual work sites. We had students, members of other unions, and politicians such as Jo Stevens MP and Leanne Wood AM join us in solidarity, as well as the buzz of a fab brass band. Add in some brilliant sunshine, and we left feeling happy and strong.
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It’s already having an effect. Eleven vice-chancellors have now broken ranks to say it’s time to come back to the negotiating table. Let’s keep the pressure up to ensure more of them feel the same. It would be great for Cardiff’s own vice-chancellor, Colin Riordan, to be among that group!
There’s lots left to do.
- We hope to see the lot of you at your departmental pickets tomorrow from 8am onwards, and we’ll be gathering again at Main Building at 11am to recharge as a group.
- If you’re unable to attend a picket at your own school, we’ll have a contingent at Main Building from 8:00 am.
- We’ll have teach-outs coming up, including a workshop Friday at 1:00 pm at Cathays Community Centre. (That’s on Cathays Road, just up from the Woodville pub, across from the Lidl.)
- Please keep coming to your pickets. Join us Monday for a meeting at the Cathays Community Centre at 1:00 pm, “Staff and Students United for Education”, where we can share concrete steps to keep that pressure on.
What can you do?
If you haven’t already contacted your political representatives, please do so. The power of all our members contacting politicians at all levels will make a difference. If you visit https://www.writetothem.com/, you can punch in your postcode to find out who represents you and how to get hold of them. Write your own e-mail – it always makes a difference – or you can use a template, which you’ll find as a text file using this link: email-template.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something to do while you stand outside your buildings, we’re encouraging everyone to use the smartphones in their pockets to make some media. We can all do quick, 30-second, soundbite interviews with our colleagues who are willing to be filmed (always ask permission, always say it will be shared on social media), gathering personal perspectives on the following questions:
- Why are you on strike today?;
- What’s your message to the Vice Chancellors?; and/or
- What will the pension cuts mean for you?
We should then post them on social media quoting the UCU strike hash tags (#UCUStrike and #UCU). If we’re uncomfortable using our own social media accounts for this, then simply follow the @cardiffUCU on Twitter, and share the videos you produce privately as direct messages. They can then be tweeted out by the official account and downloaded for sharing on Facebook. It doesn’t have to be polished/perfect. The more of this kind of social media content we produce on the day the better.
If you’ve got ideas on what else we could be doing, get in touch. And thanks for your solidarity and support.