DMU pickets pick up the pace with jogging visit from UCU General Secretary

By Alexander Hodgkins-Jones

Jo Grady, the General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) joined striking staff on the picket line at De Montfort University today (TuesMAR3).

The union leader rallied lecturers at the picket during the morning.

Lecturer and UCU organiser Ben Whitham said: “We’re really pleased that [Jo Grady] supported our strike.

“It’s important that the General Secretary came to support us.”

Jo jogged from The University of Leicester, where she previously served as a lecturer, to join union members at DMU.

The UCU branch at Leicester Uni teamed up with UCU DMU to coax her into jogging between their “let’s’ get physical” pickets.

Union members from The University of Leicester are also striking

The ongoing strike action was voted for by lecturers at 74 universities over a dispute with the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) around pay, workloads, casualisation and the gender pay gap.

These are referred to by the UCU as the “Four Fights”.

After she arrived, Jo and union members from both universities did a lap around campus.

They then cooled down with some yoga.

The UCU said all of the physical exercise serves to send a message to the UCEA: “Listen and work it out to resolve our disputes.”

The first full week of strike action by members of the UCU at DMU began yesterday (Mar 2), following two days of strikes on February 20 and February 21.

Lecturers are set to be trading classrooms for picket lines until March 17.

Lecturers out picketing today (Mar 3)

“We’re hoping to get a better offer, so we don’t have to do the full 14 days,” said Ben Whitham at the Magazine picket on campus.

Cancelled classes have put many students in a tailspin, with deadlines ongoing regardless of the strike.

For student information about the strikes please click here.

Jo was elected as the new leader of the UCU last year.

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