The Telegraph reports that both the National Union of Students (NUS) and Labour Students have encouraged their members to stand in solidarity with academics when they go on strike on Thursday and Friday.
Lecturers at 64 universities – including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham and Exeter – are to go on strike over a four week period, in a row over changes to staff pensions.
Universities College Union (UCU) has announced that strikes could extend into the summer term, meaning that students at universities across the country face having their final-year exams cancelled or scaled back.
The NUS said in a statement that it is in “full solidarity” with lecturers, and urged students to “participate in local demonstrative solidarity action during the strikes in support of UCU members”.
Labour Students has warned its members not to cross picket lines, and rather to support their tutors in their walk out this Thursday and Friday.
“We recommend students don’t cross a picket line and join their lecturers in solidarity with the first wave of walk outs beginning on the 22nd and 23rd February.”
The two-day walkout this week will be followed by three-day, four-day and five-day strikes into next month. Further strikes could run into the summer exams season if the dispute is not resolved.
Sally Hunt, UCU’s general secretary, said “We doubt any universities want a prolonged dispute that carries on towards exam season and would urge vice-chancellors to put pressure on Universities UK to get back round the table with us.”
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