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students shoulder to shoulder with staff

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We as students at the University of Birmingham stand shoulder to shoulder with staff and UCU and recognize that the real disruption to our education is being done by the very damaging cuts, in the form of over 200 job losses, being pushed by the vice chancellor David Eastwood.

 On the 17/02/11 University of Birmingham academic staff received an email concerning the UCU strike ballot. Sent by the university managers and signed by the Vice Chancellor David Eastwood and other members of the executive, it urged them to vote against UCU to minimize the "effects on students".

 We find this emotive play by university management to be obscenely hypocritical language against  academic staff who care a great deal about their students' education, an attempt which serves to prevent staff from expressing very pressing concerns.

 This is made especially hypocritical when considering that the university mangers have not taken steps like refraining from pay bonuses at the top. The Vice Chancellor David Eastwood has just accepted an 11% pay rise to £392,000, despite his present salary of £352,000 already being 13 times the UK average. This year alone the executive pay roll was raised from £13.3 million to £14.7 million, an average increase of 10.5% per manager.

 Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will shortly be balloting on taking industrial action. In support of the UCU's fight against a real terms 4.6% pay cut to staff and against the regressive changes to the staff pension scheme. 

 We as students support UCU and their fight for education, fair wages and pensions. We will not be confused by university management doublespeak to paint potential strike action as the real threat to students' education. We recognize that the cuts to staff wages and departments at the University of Birmingham are the largest factor in the deterioration of higher education which will really deprive thousands of students of life opportunities.

 Find out more about the stike ballot here: http://birminghamstudentsagainstcuts.blogspot.com/2011/02/students-shoulder-to-shoulder-with.html

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