It has been a busy day today. Pickets were established from 8am onwards and by mid-morning we had pickets at Heath Park, Newport Road, Hadyn Ellis, Colum Road, AHSS, Modern Languages, Law, Careers, Psychology, Biosciences, Main Gate, Bute, Glamorgan.
We had a visit from another part of the the galaxy – namely Darth Vader who finds our “lack of pensions disturbing”. This was Patrick Sutton from Physics with colleague who managed to tour most of the picket lines this morning.
At 11am we held our daily rally (see gallery below) with input from Michelle Huws-Thomas, Heiko Feldner, Patrick Sutton, Steven Stanley and music from Michael Munn. At least half of the crowd assembled had not been at the rally the previous day, which means that if everyone on strike came to the rally we would have more than we saw at the final rally last week before the snow came. It will be important that we have a large turnout for our big march and rally this Thursday (8th).
At 11:30pm Steven Stanley introduced “Standing in silence – a meditation flash mob” and then invited all to join him in the entrance areas of the students union. Following the flash mob all those who participated spent some time in twos and threes reflecting on the experience. A number of students joined us for the exercise.
Following this a “University Matters” teach-out event on the theme of Mental Health, was held at the Cathays Community Centre. We expect to have more feedback from that event tomorrow and will post it on the web version of this bulletin.
We were therefore very encouraged to see that the Vice-Chancellor entered into a public email exchange with Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff Central. Jo Stevens stated she was encouraged to see that Colin Riordan had agreed to attend the question time event organised by Cardiff UCU and understood that he had accepted at the event that the methodology used in the scheme valuation should be revisited. Colin Riordan wrote to assure Jo Stevens that he mean what he said regarding talking to UUK about the possibility of a new valuation … which he hoped would be today, Tuesday. He also said that he had talked with Chair of Council, Prof Stuart Palmer who is a USS trustee. and had enlisted his help in the matter.
You can read the full exchange at http://www.jostevens.co.uk/ucu_strike_action_my_exchange_of_correspondence_with_cardiff_university_vice_chancellor_prof_colin_riordan
We have confidence that the Vice-Chancellor will follow through on the commitments he has made – and conversations on Tuesday indicate that this is happening.
Lobby your Assembly Member Tuesday 13 March – book a place now!
Cardiff UCU has arranged a lobby of the National Assembly for Wales for Tuesday 13 March between 13.00 and 14.00.
The Welsh Government is an important source of funding and support for Welsh universities and particularly Cardiff University. It is vital that Ministers, especially the First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Education Minister Kirsty Williams are made aware of the impact of the proposed changes to our pensions, the strength of feeling of staff and the damaging affects that these changes will have on our university. Our aim is to speak to AMs and urge the Welsh Government to make a public statement calling on Universities UK to accept a new evaluation of the pension scheme and to negotiate in good faith with a view to retaining a Defined Benefit scheme
Two of our local Assembly Members, Julie Morgan for Cardiff North and Jenny Rathbone for Cardiff Central, have agreed to host our lobby.
We need as many people as possible to commit to coming to the lobby next Tuesday. There will be transport provided by Cardiff UCU.
If you would like to attend the lobby and help us persuade the Welsh Government to support our case, click here and fill in the form
- 8am – Pickets – various school/dept locations and university main building
- 11am – Rally – in front of the main university building
- 1 pm – 3 pm – Workshop: Civil Rights and Liberties – Dr. Lydia Hayes – Where? Cathays Methodist Church
Cardiff UCU Strike Communications Team