By Isabel Weeks Hankins and Mia Rose
Today marked the end of the UCU strikes with a day of action uniting students and staff in Sheffield City Centre.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) and students gathered today in front of Sheffield City Hall before march down Division Street over cuts to staff pensions, heavy workloads and insecure contracts.
Sarah Whitehouse, 52, said: “Personally I’m very upset about pensions but also pay inequalities.
“I think it all goes together as an attack on the basic principles of what university should be for.”
Ms Whitehouse, an academic striker, said she had previously been involved in strike action called by the UCU.
She added: “In the face of totally unreasonable behaviour you have no choice, you have to react.”
The strike concludes after 10 days of strikes over a three-week period in which 44 universities across the UK took part in.
The strike period saw occupations of university buildings including the Diamond, Arts Tower, Hicks Building and Jessop West by students in support of the UCU strikes.
Talks held outside Sheffield City Hall this afternoon highlighted that the end of the strike does not mean their voice will quieten.
Robyn Orfitelli, Comms Officer for UCU Sheffield, said: “We all deserve to be treated like people, not like cattle, by our employers.”
“I am furious and this is going to keep me on strike for as long as it takes.”
Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council, Martin Mayer stood in unity with the UCU and addressed the mass of strikers in front of city hall today.
Mr Mayer said: “You’ve been devalued by your university employers, your profession has been degraded,”
“It’s time workers stood up and say we are not taking it anymore.”