University staff picket lines supported by students and many others in Nottingham

Official picket UCU armbands at University of Nottingham during strike day 22nd March 2011
Strike day 1 at University of Nottingham
Yesterday, 22nd March 2011, was the first day of strike action by members of the University and College Union in England including lecturers, researchers, admin and library staff from 47 universities taking strike action in defence of their USS pension scheme. Strikes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland took place last Thursday & Friday, and yesterday.

Picket lines were formed at all entrances of the University of Nottingham. A joint staff/student campaign leaflet was handed out (Download student side of leaflet. UCU staff side of leaflet) as well as information about the effects of the proposed changes to the pensions scheme that would see new staff (and those with a gap in employment or extended leave) being put on to a much worse scheme, plus increases in employee contributions for everyone with little evidence that this is needed. The threat of action and offer of negotiations by UCU has already seen the gap increased to 30 months from 6 months plus there is now an indefinite delay in implementation. Many people in vehicles passing the entrances honked their horns in support including both City and County Council workers, Post Office workers, bus drivers, taxi drivers and many people in vans of private companies and cars. Security staff at entrances were supportive. The student support was particularly excellent, with groups from Nottingham Students Against Cuts and Fees present at the picket lines and saying on their website,

WE, NOTTINGHAM STUDENTS AGAINST FEES & CUTS, EXPRESS OUR STAUNCH SUPPORT FOR AND SOLIDARITY WITH THE UCU of Nottingham University / NTU and the UCU groups on strike nationwide. We stand with staff members in their attempt to defend their pension schemes from the cuts that are being imposed and which will have a drastic detrimental effect on the education sector and thus society as a whole. These cuts affect our community, students and staff alike, as they threaten not only jobs but educational establishments, irreparably damaging the overall value and quality of education. Read more:

Today, Wednesday 23rd, NSAFC will hold a ‘Teach-out’ with tents outside Hallward Library on the University of Nottiongam main campus from 12 noon and all afternoon to highlight the campaign against marketisation of education, cuts to teaching budgets and to support the UCU strikes. Notts TUC are holding a Budget Day protest against all cuts from 5-7pm in the Old Market Square, Nottingham.

On Thursday 24th there will be a UK-wide strike day involving both University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University and Further Education colleges. Picket lines will be formed in the morning and there will be a rally in defence of education in the Old Market Square , Nottingham from 11am at least until 2pm. All welcome. Details here: Then at 3.30pm will be the ESOL day of action against cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages – this open air meeting will also take place in the Old Market Square. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

The campaign is growing and this is becoming more than solidarity. The struggle of students against huge fees rises and cuts to support like ESA is identified with the cuts agenda and the general attack on wages and conditions in education work places. There are a number of unions in universities and colleges such as Unison and UNITE and hopefully the struggle can be broadened in the coming months. The Notts SOS campaigns aims to link up service users and community campaigns as well as workplaces, schools and colleges. The UCU is taking 3 coaches from Nottingham to London for the ‘March for the Alternative’ on Saturday 26th as are many other unions.

Press cutting with photograph in evening post of one UCU picket line taken on 22nd March
Press cutting with photograph of one UCU picket line at University of Nottingham

University and college strikes next week including Nottingham city centre demo on 24th March 2011

UCU logoNottingham staff and students have mounted a united campaign at our local universities and colleges to support University and College Union strike action on the 22nd and 24th of March (Tuesday & Thursday next week in Nottingham). There will be picket lines on the 22nd and 24th and solidarity action by students from both universities and FE colleges via Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts. A joint staff/student leaflet has been produced at Nottingham University. Download student side of leaflet. UCU staff side of leaflet. The context of the strike is not only pensions (or forthcoming action on pay and condidion) but the commodification of education.

On Thursday 24th March, UCU members from all FE and HE institutions in Nottingham and across the country will be on strike together. AS PART OF THIS A PUBLIC RALLY WILL BE HELD THURSDAY 24th MARCH at 11 noon until 2pm OLD MARKET SQUARE NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE. Everyone is invited to support the rally. University of Nottingham UCU branch is also running coaches to London for the 26th TUC ‘March for the Alternative’. Nottingham University UCU office Tel: (0115) 9514976 Email: ucu [at]

Later in the afternoon on the 24th will be the ESOL day of action against cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in the Old Market Square at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

See also: Photos from student anti-cuts fundraiser

Background: Tomorrow (Thursday 17th March 2011) members of the University and College Union that represents lecturers, researchers, admin staff and part-time students in universities and colleges in Higher and Further Education will begin a week of strike action to defend pensions. The action will begin in Scotland, followed by Wales, Northern Ireland and England (on Tuesday 22nd) before the final UK-wide day next Thursday 24 March. Employers have ignored attempts to meet employers at ACAS to negotiate. Due to continued support and negotiations, the proposed changes have been temporarily postponed but the employers still refuse to meet. See: The union does not claim a monopoly of wisdom on the Universities Superannuation Scheme, only that as one of the fund’s co-founders more than thirty years ago it is dear to our hearts and central to terms and conditions. The union remain committed to negotiations and are willing talk any time, anywhere, to the employers to protect members’ interests, but if they won’t talk we have no option other than to take action.

Notts anti-cuts diary dates for fortnight beginning Monday 14th March 2011

picture of a diary to add the following anti-cuts dates toHere are anti-cuts events coming up. Also take a look on the right for more details of Forthcoming Events, Comments and Twitter feed columns for more info, reports and comments. Join Notts SOS Facebook at

Anti-cuts diary dates in weeks beginning Monday 14th and Monday 21st March 2011

Monday 14th March Notts SOS planning meeting, at ICC/YMCA, 7.30-9.15pm. Meetings are currently fortnightly.

Monday 14th March Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts are running two ‘Education Strikes Back’ teach-ins to discuss how to continue the fight against the cuts to education. UCU have voted for strike action, so it’s an exciting time and we have lots to discuss. All are welcome. One will be on the 14th March, 6pm in D137 Portland Building (students union), main campus. Facebook link:

Wednesday 16th March The other NSAFC teach-in on the 16th, 6pm at Nottingham Trent (check the facebook
group for the location). Bring any ideas you have. Facebook link:

Wednesday 16th March – Bassetlaw SOS Public Meeting at the Crossing Church & Centre, Newcastle Street, Worksop. Starts 7pm. Download public meeting flyer. Download Bassetlaw anti-cuts flyer.

Thursday 17th March – Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts are putting on a fundraiser to raise money and to publicise the campaign. Make Music, Not Cuts – Live Music and *Bring and Buy* Rummage Sale Fundraiser at The Maze, Mansfield Road, Nottingham. Doors and Open Mic at 7pm, Show at 8pm.

Friday 18th March Save Our NHS. 38 Degrees/Notts SOS health group. Informal planning meeting at Friends Meeting House, 25 Clarendon Street Nottingham NG1 5JD. Room 3 from 7:15 for 7:30pm start ’til 9:00pm. The idea of this meeting is to plan and organise a public meeting to take place in the near further. See also: If you want to know the ins and outs of what’s actually going to happen to our NHS, follow the link and watch this video:

Saturday 19th March Nottingham CND & Notts SOS are holding a joint stall in the Market Square, at 11.30am. The theme is ‘Cut Trident not Public Sevices/Jobs’. See also CND adds support to TUC march against the cuts. Stay on for the UK-Uncut event at 1pm…

Saturday 19th March Notts-Uncut Part-of UK-Uncut. Starts 12 noon. A protest against tax evasion and the cuts. Maybe a march through the streets to target the banks, Vodafone etc. Invite everyone you know 🙂
We will rendevous either at the lions or the Brian Clough statue, details tbc. Here is the event on UKUncut and on Facebook:!/event.php?eid=129737010431818

Sunday 20th March ‘Out of the Woods’ event. Save Sherwood Forest / Forest Campaign Network / Notts SOS are running a gathering & ramble at Sherwood Pines, Edwinstowe, Mansfield NG21 9JL. Meet 2pm at the large notice board between the car park and visitors centre for a 2.15pm start to follow the white route for a relaxed an buggy-friendly ramble of about 40 mins duration. Download poster for more details including directions to the car park and a RSVP: Out of the Woods 20th March 2011 and Leaflet with more info about why the campaign must continue.

Tuesday 22nd March Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) strike at University of Nottingham over proposed pension changes. See also March 24th for major strike day with other institutions. Pickets at all main entrances to campuses 8am-12 noon. More details here.

Wednesday 23rd March Nottingham & Notts Trades Union Council, Budget Day Lobby, 5pm. Old Market Square, Nottingham. All welcome.

Thursday 24th March Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) members (lecturers, researchers & admin staff) from all FE and HE institutions in Nottingham and across the country will be on strike together over pensions, pay and condition of employment. AS PART OF THIS A PUBLIC RALLY WILL BE HELD THURSDAY 24th MARCH at 11 am until 2pm OLD MARKET SQUARE NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE. Everyone is invited to support the rally. There will also be a strike day on the 22nd. Pickets at institutions will take place on the mornings of both 22nd and 24th, from 8am. More details here.

Thursday 24th March ESOL day of action against cuts to English for Speakers of Other Languages. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in the Old Market Square at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

Saturday 26th March – TUC ‘March for the alternative’: Put this in your diary now! London – initial details of route are here – Loads of coaches through local union branches:

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) cuts: more help needed and meeting on 24th March 2011

ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)
Update: ESOL day of action. Nottingham open air meeting will take place in Market Square on 24th March 2011 at 3.30pm. Download flyer: ESOL Day of Action flyer 24 March 2011. Help us show the importance of English classes.

Data shows 76% of Nottingham ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students will face new &/or much higher fees. What will happen if they cannot pay, & cannot speak English with their children, at work, or in the community?

There are now 750 people waiting for ESOL. What will happen if some classes close? 10,526 people have signed the online petition & thousands of paper petitions are being counted too. Have you, your family & friends signed?

Petition to sign:

In Nottinghamshire, 665 people signed the online petition, 917 have signed paper petitions, 810 students have completed surveys, 589 have sent prepared letters to John Hayes (Minister for Skills) & 60 people have written their own stories or letters. THANK YOU!!!


Indymedia reports on the latest anti-cuts and fees demonstrations in London and Manchester – 29th Jan 2011

NUS president requiring police reassurance in Manchester on 29th January 2011
NUS president requiring police reassurance in Manchester on 29th January 2011
Nottingham students and lecturers from both universities and further education & six form colleges demonstrated again amongst thousands in both London and Manchester on Saturday 29th January against forthcoming rises in tuition fees, the cut to EMA that has already taken place, and cuts to other services.

Some demonstrators who went to London, including some of the Nottingham contingent, ended up at the Egyptian embassy near Hyde Park in solidarity with anti-government protests there, before joining coaches back. Others took action at high street stores of tax avoiding companies, many of which were closed and had to be protected by police (reports and other media below).

In Manchester hundreds of students chased NUS president through the streets with chants including “Students, workers, hear us shout, Aaron Porter sold us out” and “Porter – out”. Eventually he took refuge in Manchester Metropolitan Students’ Union, protected by a heavy cordon of riot police. NUS deputy, Vice-President Further Education Shane Chowan who took his place was drowned out by hostile chanting and pelted with eggs (full story in Manchester link below).

Reports/pictures/video (London): and

Reports/pictures (Manchester): and See also:

Back home, Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC) are asking all students to Boycott the National Student Survey Follow link for details or goto Facebook:!/?sk=messages&tid=1404966704398

Anti-cuts events week beginning Monday 24th Jan 2011 [plus Video ‘The Rise of Street Extremism | 10.01.11’]

Anti-cuts events: January 24th-30th 2011. Follow links for details. Plenty to get involved with.
Update: find out about further meetings and events here:

Monday 24th Jan: Second National Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts. All day. Action in Nottingham – see

Monday 24th Jan: NCVS meeting impact of cuts on voluntary and community groups, 2-4pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Monday 24th Jan: Notts SOS meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham. Our regular meeting. All welcome.

Tuesday 25th Jan – Mansfield SOS meeting, 7.15pm, at the Gas Board Sports and Social Club, Lime Tree Place, Mansfield.

Wednesday 26th Jan: UCU Open Forum, Nottingham Uni, Portland Building C11, 1pm-3pm.

Wednesday 26th Jan: Stand Up For the NHS, 7:30pm at Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham.

Wednesday 26th Jan: National walkout to save EMA (Facebook). Download College students flyer about EMA produced at Network X

Thursday 27th Jan: Save Sherwood Forest meeting 7.30pm at YMCA/ICC, Nottingham.

Saturday 29th Jan: Education no-fees/cuts demo in London. Called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU). Coaches leave Nottingham Trent SU at 8:30am, Nottingham Uni (Portland Building) at 9am. Tickets are £7 concession, £15 waged and must be bought in advance. To book text/call 07849 392 842. Download flyer: There is also a demo in Manchester on the same day which UCU and PCS are also supporting – there are coaches – contact respective unions. Nottingham Students now have tickets to Manchester as well. So take your pick. Email nsafac [at] for tickets both events.

Sunday 30th Jan: Nottingham UK Uncut event 1pm Clumber Street.

Video extra: Think tank Policy Exchange worries about ‘domestic extremism’, including anti-cuts campaigns (and websites!). Apparently it’s unfairness that makes ‘the British people’ rise up and this must be addressed by the government before it’s hijacked by the Left and anarchists. It’s a long video with a range of experts, who are mostly ex-police – maybe they are getting a bit worried? They are certainly saying the state should be getting more prepared. See/listen around 3 mins in about those terrible UKUncut flash mobs that have been used to close stores (see also near end of the video a suggestion that it’s time their website be brought down – how democratic!). Then 7 mins in – an infiltrator of CND talks about the general problem of anti-parliamentary groups. Various stuff about kettling and other public order tactics and the terrible constraints of the Human Rights Act. And a suggestion that a royal wedding protest with anti-cuts flavour could be a problem. Enjoy.


PolicyExchangeUK | 11 January 2011 | 0 likes, 42 dislikes
There are increasing signs that significant sections of the extreme left have little intention of confining their opposition to Coalition policies to peaceful, democratic protest. In recent weeks we have seen riots over student tuition fees, the forcible closure of high street stores by flashmobs and also growing demands for industrial action to undermine the Coalition administration, including from the leader of Britain’s biggest trade union.
Do these actions portend a dangerous new trend towards the use of physical force? If so, what can and should be done to prevent this phenomenon becoming a regular feature of the national landscape?

Peter Clarke CVO OBE QPM | former Head of the Counter Terrorism Command and former Borough Commander in Brixton during the 1995 riots
Rt Hon David Maclean | former Minister of State at the Home Office and Parliamentary Adviser to the Police Superintendents Association
Paul Mercer | UK’s pre-eminent expert on extremist groups and author, Longman’s Directory of British Political Organisations [who also likes to spy for arms dealers it would appear.]
Henry Robinson | Anti Terrorist community and street activist and former Irish republican prisoner

Nottingham protests before vote to scrap EMA is passed by government on 19th Jan 2011. [plus link to ITV footage of demo]

Following a Commons vote yesterday, access by 17-18 year olds in England to the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), that supports student to stay in school/college after age 16 is closed to new applicants from now on, then to be withdrawn for existing recipients in September. The means-tested £10-£30 allowance used to be a bursary of £40 but it is now gone completely. This is not gone without significant opposition though – see Nottingham Indymedia with photos of Nottingham students’ protest on 19th Jan: following several other demonstrations starting last year.

Watch TV footage of the demo on ITV website including an attempt to ‘storm’ the council house prevented by police (there’s always another time!!):

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own EMA schemes which are still open but these are also under review (see Scotland example).

More info, and forthcoming events: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC). School, college and university students are continuing to oppose cuts and rises in fees.

One Million Climate Jobs Now! Solving the Economic and Environmental Crises – public meeting in Derby on 31st Jan 2011

One Million Climate Jobs Now! Solving the Economic and Environmental Crises – public meeting
Time/Date: 7:00–8:30 pm on Monday 31st January 2011.
Venue: Friends Meeting House, St Helen’s Street, Derby DE1 3GY.

Download leaflet: one million climate jobs now – joint NUT Derby Climate Coalition meeting

Suzanne Jeffrey: N.U.T.
Chandra Morbey: Rail Engineer in Derby

Suzanne Jeffrey is Chair of the National ‘Campaign against Climate
Change’ Trade Union group which has produced the best-selling
pamphlet ‘One million climate jobs’. This makes the case for the
creation of employment in renewable energy, refitting buildings,
public transport, industry and education.

Chandra Morbey will look at the potential for railways upon jobs
and the environment.

All welcome.

Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts! EMA Second Day of Action – Wed 19th Jan 2011 at 4.30pm [Plus coaches to 29th Jan demos].

A couple of messages from Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC) …

Wednesday 19th January (Tomorrow)- Protest to Save EMA! 4.30pm Market Square, Nottingham. The Coalition government are voting on whether to scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance after the vote was postponed last week. We are holding a protest at Market Square at 4.30pm. Bring placards, banners and tell everyone you can! It’s short notice but we will still make an impact.

Saturday 29th January – National Demo against cuts and fees – London.
Called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU). Coaches leave Nottingham Trent SU at 8:30am, Nottingham Uni (Portland Building) at 9am. Tickets are £7 concession, £15 waged and must be bought in advance. To book, send an e-mail to this address with your contact details and we will get in touch and arrange to get a ticket to you, or text/call 07849 392 842. Download flyer: National demo Fees Cuts 29 Jan 2011 in London
Notts SOS note: there is also a demo in Manchester on the same day which UCU is also supporting. So take your pick.

Tuesday 18th January (Tonight) Planning meeting. Weekly meeting are held 6pm on Tuesdays meeting outside Trent SU (Students’ Union building, Byron House). Apologies for the short notice but if you want to get involved in organising the campaign then please come down and get involved. These
meetings are held every week. For more info please get in touch via 07849 392 842.

Notts SOS conference and EMA protests – reports from Saturday 15th January 2011

Combating the Cuts: planning for action! – conference held yesterday

Yesterday Notts SOS held it’s first conference in the Dunkirk and Old Lenton community centre.

Over 70 people were present during the day to discuss cuts and plan anti-cuts activity from now on in 7 sub-groups: Trades Unions, Local Government, Health/NHS, Education, Environment, Benefits/Pensions and Local Communities. A plenary session in the afternoon allowed space for participants to feedback from the groups and to discuss general points about the way forward for the Nottingham and Notts anti-cuts campaigning. A card was signed to be sent to Edward Woollard, the 18 year old student who was recently jailed after the Millbank demonstration. Food and refreshments were provided by Veggies.

A full report from the conference will come soon, but be assured there is lot to get involved with. Get in touch! Notts SOS meets next on Monday 24th January and there will be several events between now and then. So watch this space! In the meantime look at a couple of photos from the gathering:

Loads more photos on Facebook:

Nottingham Protests against the scrapping of Educational Support Allowance

On the same day students took to the streets again in Nottingham with a demonstration in the Market Square against the scrapping of EMA. For details see:

Nttm Students another Protest Against Scrapping EMA:

Notts students protest EMA cuts

More is planned, especially leading up to the demonstrations in Manchester and London on 29th Jan.

Also on the same day in Manchester, the first day of the Network X gathering went ahead, continuing today. Students from Nottingham participated.

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