A motion submitted by the John Maclean Society (JMS) to Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA) calling for a concrete support for current and future UCU strikes has passed!

The motion, which was in response to vague EUSA statements in response to UCU industrial action, called primarily for the student union to explicitly advice students not to cross the picket line. The motion also demanded a wider and more concrete EUSA involvement on the pickets and in student initiatives supporting the strikes, including dissemination of information in support of any industrial action and informing students on ways they can support and help.

The motion passed with overwhelming majority, with 96% in favour, confirming the massive support of students of strike action.

The JMS will keep in close contact with EUSA to discuss the implementation of the motion, and hold EUSA accountable for applying our demands. ✊

Thanks everyone for helping with this, and looking forward for future campaigns we can organise!

Since last week (starting 14th Feb 2022), UCU staff at the University of Edinburgh have been on strike to protest pension cuts and precarious working conditions (4 fights: pay, workload, casualisation, equality). This wave of strikes started last December, but UCU disputes with employers have been going on for years.

Given that staff working conditions are also student learning conditions, we stand firmly on the side of our lecturers and will support any industrial action in whatever way we can. This is because the only way to end the marketisation of higher education is through a united front of staff and students.

Our student association (Edinburgh University Student Association) did not release any statement to support the strikes this semester. Even their statement last semester was weak and detached, giving no concrete advice or actions as to how support will be given to UCU striking staff. However, EUSA has previously released a more concrete statement detailing ways of support, including raising awareness and encouraging students not to cross the picket line. In fact, the student council passed a motion in 2019 to support the strike, including spreading awareness. It is our firm belief that in order to actually support the strike, EUSA must explicitly advise students not to cross the pickets on strike days, which means not going to classes and avoiding university buildings.

The John Maclean Society and all supportive societies and students at the University of Edinburgh call on EUSA to unequivocally support strike action, by fully communicating their demands to all students, and wielding their power as a students union to aid the UCU and staff cause, including:

– Explicitly advise students not to cross the picket line on strike days.
– Helping in distributing material in favour of the strike action.
– Supporting staff at the picket lines.
– Engaging with fellow students taking part in student-staff solidarity initiatives.

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