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Strikes 2020… Day 13: Not all heroes wear capes!

Published: 12th March, 2020

It was a bright, beautiful and brisk day on the pickets as we gathered once again to fight for fair compensation and decent working conditions in Higher Education. Tomorrow is Day 14 of this period of strike action, Day 22 of strikes in this dispute, and Day 36 of strike action in the fight for our pensions. 

As befits the occasion, tomorrow we will be rallying in style:

  • Friday the 13th! Come dressed as something scary, from zombies to promotion committees, or in your favourite picket garb
  • 8—10am Make some noise! Bring your instruments and noisemakers and let’s make our strength heard across campus and at all our picket sites
  • 10am Speed Curation Event at the Victoria Park picket! Two amazing comrades from Museum Studies are going to help us create a photographic exhibition of strike objects. Bring the object you most associate with you strike experience – whether it’s a hat, instrument, sticker, coffee cup, tissue packet, or wooden spoon, come and together we will tell the story of our strike.
  • 11am Support the Students! – The Leicester Student Action demonstration starts at the Victoria Park Picket at 11am, so come out so we can give them a rousing send off and return and show them how much their support means to us

Today’s picketing started in the best way possible with Red Leicester Choir. Bringing songs of struggle and solidarity in four-part harmony, they lifted our spirits and our hearts.

Two LUCU members got so caught up that Red Leicester invited them to join in – and we’re pretty sure the choir just got some excited new choristers!

By the way, you can read about the history of Red Leicester in Singing for Our Lives’: Stories from the Street Choirs.

Today’s theme highlighted the expertise of grade 7 (postdoctoral) staff, who are undervalued & underpaid by the university and taking on increasingly large leadership and administrative roles in their departments, with no pathway to promotion. 

Mid-morning, one of our dedicated LUCU team launched their campaign to stand for office at the national level of UCU. We are so proud when our members put themselves forward like this! 

As usual, we had drums, caffeine, baked goods and rampant collegiality on the picket lines. 

However, it is with great sadness that we report the tragic and untimely demise of one of our most stalwart allies…

Picket spoon is survived (but for how long?!) by picket tambourine. It is a hard life being the daily voice of passionate and frustrated members on the picket lines, but your strength and sacrifice will never be forgotten. RIP Picket Spoon.