On the final day of strikes, strikers marched to Durham’s central administration building with banners and drums. The large crowd of academics, trade unionists, employees and students marched through the central corridor of the Palatine Centre, before congregating outside for a final round of chants and speeches.
“This was the ultimate show of solidarity with the workers. We’re representing why it’s a fight for the intersectional, and not just for the isolated. It’s not just a fight for the workers, it’s not just a fight for pensions, it’s a fight for equality. It’s a fight for future generations and the current one as well, and that is the reason we have all come together”, one supporter told Palatinate.
A group of students from Durham Student-Worker Solidarity broke into the restricted section of the building, where offices are kept, and led a group onto the top floor of the Palatine Centre. University reception staff blocked the doors and prevented further access, calling security. Students sat down and started chanting, before the University security team arrived and removed the students from the building.
Lectures and seminars have now re-commenced, with further strike action likely to return in the new year. As the strike has not been resolved, UCU members are now adopting a policy of only conducting work within their contracted hours, which means refusing to reschedule lectures, or take on any voluntary commitments.
Photographs by Anna Marshall