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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Kris Gourlay

Edinburgh students join university staff to form vast picket lines in pay dispute

Hundreds of Edinburgh university students have gathered outside Holyrood in solidarity with teachers who are striking over an ongoing pay dispute

Picket lines have formed across University of Edinburgh campuses and the Scottish Parliament building on Wednesday afternoon as both students and staff oppose the pay offer in the table.

Many are seen holding up banners and flags in support of UCU, a teaching union representing staff at the university. Taking to Twitter on Wednesday morning, UCU said: "Today, 70,000 UCU members resume strike action at UK universities.

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"They are sick of being told a sector worth £40bn can't afford decent pay and pensions and they are sick of millionaire vice chancellors denying them job security."

A huge banner sporting the words: "Students support the strikes" was carried through Bristo Square before large crowds marched to Holyrood. PhD student and university tutor Sambhavi Ganesh shared a picture of crowds gathering, with the caption: "The University of Edinburgh is on strike!"

On the University of Edinburgh's website, they say they are engaging with the UCU over the dispute and hope that industrial action will have minimal impact on students. They add: "The University of Edinburgh, working alongside Universities UK (UUK) – which represents around 150 universities across the UK – is continuing to engage with UCU on the USS dispute. We hope that the sector and UCU can resolve the dispute without the need for further industrial action.

"We want to minimise the impact on you as much as possible and will work to limit significant disruption to the delivery of learning and teaching, assessment, progression and student experience, whilst maintaining academic standards."

As well as taking action over pay, members of the UCU are also fighting for better conditions and pensions. One large banner at the ongoing protest reads: "People and Money + Peter Mathieson = pain and misery." Peter Mathieson is the principal of the university.


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