Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Student protest has the support of UU lecturers

UNIVERSITY of Ulster lecturers from the University and Colleges Union (UCU) want to voice publicly our full support for our students in their occupation of the Senior Common Room (SCR) on the Coleraine campus of the university, which is threatened with closure.

We are a learning community, not a business community. The SCR is the perfect illustration of that and its closure is yet another landmark on the journey of university management's cuts.

The SCR is a shared space, where every member of our learning community has the opportunity to meet, relax and work, sharing ideas and knowledge.

University management plan to convert it from a shared space into an exclusive executive dining room.

Students are saying 'enough is enough' after class sizes have increased, student support services have decreased and the university canteens have been privatised.

We lecturers welcomed the fact that the student occupation was started in solidarity with our strike on December 3, when all groups of staff, technical, support and academic, across higher education in the UK, took action in an ongoing call for fair pay.

We have been offered a pay 'rise' of just 1% in the context of pay having fallen 13% in real terms over the last four years.

The SCR occupation is peaceful and is vibrantly reclaiming the space for its rightful purpose. Students are asking for meaningful dialogue with university management, but thus far it is not forthcoming.

This is a great shame, because meaningful dialogue is what a learning community is all about.

Dr Gail Baylis

Dr Sharon Brady

Hazel Bruce      

Niall Burns

Dr Kathryn Byrne

Dr Suzanna Chan

Dr Brian Connolly

Dr Kevin De Ornellas

Michael Doherty

Dr Anne Gray

Lyn Fawcett

Dr Alexander Grigorash

Norman Hagan

Alan Hook

Goretti Horgan

Dr Daniel Jewesbury

Dr Sidney Katzen

Dr Dianne Kirby

Dr Kristian Lasslett

Keith Livingston

Dr. Katrina Macintosh

Janet Mackle

Michael Mahadeo

Adrian McGinnis

Dr Esther McGuinness

Dr George McKerr

Dr Robert Millar

Dr Linda Moore

Dr Jenny Mullen

Dr Willa Murphy

Martin Murray

Dr Robert Porter

Dr Clare Ryan

Dr Donal Ryan

Paul Rowlandson

Dr Robert PorterDoris Rohr

Dr Frank Sewell

Simon Smith

Jane Starrs

Dr James Ward

Denise Wilson

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