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The News Line: News Sheffield students & lecturers mass rally
Students joined a thousand-strong rally in Sheffield in support of striking lecturers fighting against the privatisation of their pensions
ONE thousand striking lecturers, students and community supporters marched from Sheffield University to the City Hall yesterday to mark the end of four further days of the pay and pensions nationwide strike action by UCU lecturers. A huge rally assembled at midday at the university’s Art Tower, and as the marchers made their way to the City Centre, large numbers of onlookers applauded and shouted their support.

From the steps, of City Hall, the lecturers case was put by former UCU president Liz Lawrence, who told the marchers: ‘I bring you solidarity from retired members. We don’t want to be the last generation to be able to afford to retire. ‘One of the issues of this dispute is retirement. We don’t want to be working until drop dead! ‘We have picketed, and we have often had hundreds of people on our picket lines.

‘Our pensions are deferred wages – but the government refers to them as though they were a lottery win.‘Pensions don’t fall from the sky – they came about historically because of the fight of organised labour and above all they have to be defended. ‘This is a dispute we have to win and it is a dispute we are going to win.’

Meanwhile, at Imperial College in West London, lecturers told News Line that their strike had split the employers. UCU picket and neuroscience lecturer, Anita Hall, said: ‘What this strike has achieved is to expose the governance of Universities UK. ‘It has shown the shady dealing and incompetence of the employers. ‘There has been a tendency for lecturers to just keep their heads down, now they are looking up. ‘I was on a visit to universities in the US and thought the situation of lecturers was more downtrodden, with many on short-term contracts and students facing massive debts. ‘Capitalism is trying to destroy the love of learning.’
 
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