Fresh from a reading week-enforced break, the QMUCU picket lines were unsurprisingly strong today. There was no need to brave the weather either as early rising picketers were greeted by some previously strike-adverse sunshine upon their arrival at East Gate!
East Gate was the site of much of today’s activity, including a Long Table on the Rights of all Women, Transgender, Non-Binary, Intersex and Gender Diverse Colleagues and Students at QMUL! Reproducing the internationally toured work of Lois Weaver (School of English & Drama), QMUCU picketers and visitors engaged in an open-ended, non-hierarchical discussion that rightfully pushed the issue of gender inequalities at QM to the forefront of today’s strike action.
Alongside the Long Table, there have been three more fantastic teach-outs today. This morning there was a welcome return for the “Knit Out”, encouraging picketers and visitors to rethink the relationship between leisure and work with knitting needles in hand! There were also workshops held by visiting members of the Labour Party’s Community Organising Unit and by the Climate Action Group.
Positive news greeted QMUCU strikers at the end of today’s pickets. At the time of writing it appears that the USS pension scheme may finally be on the verge of moving towards a more reasonable valuation methodology.
This is breaking news, so of course nothing is clear-cut yet. However, the apparent willingness of USS to move towards a more conciliatory approach in valuing our pensions is nonetheless further proof – in addition to the relatively positive stirrings that UCU leadership reported as coming from UCEA last week – that our strike action is making a difference!
Tomorrow is another big day on the QMUCU pickets. Help us keep up the pressure by joining us at Mile End (no picket at Whitechapel tomorrow, 10 March).
On the teach-out front tomorrow we have two events from the Latinx Society.
- From 12pm – 2pm there’s Poetic Justice with Priscilla Hernandez at the Queen’s Gate picket https://www.facebook.com/events/188984639085385/
- From 3pm-5pm a poetry recital on the topics of inequality, mental health, and gender-based violence in the St Benet’s Chaplaincy Yurt. https://www.facebook.com/events/625312281598841/
Please help us improve the participation on the picket line by filling out the picket rota!
In order to help us organise a bit better, we have improved our picket rota system and moved it to an easier medium.
Here is the link for the Mile End Picket: https://doodle.com/poll/anby6h94fr76ykh5
The link for the Whitechapel picket: https://doodle.com/poll/m885affav2cpmu58
Filling it out is important, because it allows people to see when the pickets need more people and make decisions based on that.
We really need more people in the morning for the 8am shifts, so if you do not have childcare and are free, please try to get down to the picket line by 8am. This will make a huge difference in our ability to set up banners and start the day off strong.
Solidarity – we look forward to seeing many of you on the picket lines tomorrow!