Strike ‘working’, says Cambridge Defend Education

Juliette Bretan 24 February 2018

Cambridge Defend Education (CDE), one of the largest participating groups in the strike, 
responded to University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Toope’s call for 
more negotiations between UUK and UCU by calling it ‘evidence that the strike is working’. 
In an email seen by TCS, Matt Kite, a CDE spokesperson, said the last two days of strike 
action had shown UUK how staff and students had ‘resisted’ attempts by the union to create 
a wedge between the two players over pension pay. It claims that strong turnout have made 
this week’s action ‘impossible to ignore’.  
However, the email also made clear the need to ‘push on’ with continued support of striking 
staff by not crossing picket lines or attending lectures and classes. It warned that any action 
undermining the strike could prevent today’s decision from being ‘more than just talk’.  
‘There is only a prospect of resolving this dispute if UUK are prepared to reverse their 
decision to slash pensions,’ it concludes. ‘We have come a long way this week, but there is 
further to go.’ 
The two days of strike action have seen support from over 200 students attending a 
demonstration outside Senate House, with supporting speeches from members of the 
Cambridge University Student Union Council. Rallies yesterday and today included chants of 
‘They say marketise, we say organise’ and ‘Students and workers, unite and fight.’  
Action is currently expected to continue into the next week as part of 14 days of striking.