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Strike Report – Day 13 (Singing in the rain)

Published: 15th March, 2018

Today was a day of high spirits. The excellent news from yesterday afternoon that strike pay is to be deducted at a rate of 2 days per month over the next 7 months resulted in a particularly buoyant mood on the picket lines. (More info on this deduction agreement is here.) As we came together we shared our feelings of shock and wonder that we had achieved such a wonderful victory, gratitude for the wonderful negotiators from LUCU, and optimism about what else could be achieved. Even local MP Jon Ashworth delaying his visit until tomorrow couldn’t dampen our spirits!

Our wonderful student supporters and occupiers arrived with top hats, ballot papers, posters and a ballot box to run their own election this morning. They organised a ‘symbolic’ vote for the role of Chancellor.

The students had sought nominations via facebook for candidates and the resulting ballot paper was very impressive and reflects the views, interests and passions of our students and staff. The candidates are:

  • Natalie Bennet – green party politician, feminist, and proud Leicester alumni.
  • Helen Sharman – first British astronaut with strong links to the National Space Centre.
  • Carol Leeming – black, queer, singer, song-writer and poet. Born and lives in Leicester.
  • Owen Jones – left wing, LGBT activist who has played an instrumental role in raising political consciousness.
  • Malia Bouattia – first Muslim and woman of colour NUS President. Co-founder of the Defend Education Birmingham group.
  • David Blanchflower – anti-austerity economist, advisor on Corbyn’s economic policy and proud Leicester alumni.
  • Estelle Morris – former Labour Education Secretary. A selfless unifer.
  • Esua Goldsmith – first woman of colour SU president in the UK, staged a sit in at Leicester 30 years ago, and proud Leicester alumni.
  • Dolly Parton – works nine ‘til five (ASOS queen!)

To cries of ‘one person one vote’ staff and students alike cast their votes in a transparent and fair process. They even took some ballot papers up to the ‘corridor of power’ so that no one would be excluded from this important decision. The results are set to be announced tomorrow morning and we can’t wait to hear them.

Our colleagues in the Business School took the megaphone this morning. They are set to be relocated to the Brookfield site in the coming months. The Business School has over 5000 students all of whom will be affected by the proposed move from the main campus to the Brookfield site. We marched to the Fielding Johnson Lawn with our usual cacophony of noise and stood between the three buildings that currently house the Business School and protested this move which would have such a negative effect on staff and students alike. We sang/chanted ‘We will not be moved… to Brookfield’ together and cancelled our planned march to the Brookfield site – as we hope that the Leadership Team will also re-think their plans to move the school there.

We await the results of the election!