Hundreds Protest at College Cuts[.]; Lecturers and Students Rally

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Byline: NICOLA WEATHERALL

HUNDREDS of lecturers and students united at the picket line for their latest fight against job losses and pay cuts.

Large numbers of teaching staff from all of the region's universities and colleges went on strike yesterday in a dispute over changes to pension plans and redundancies.

They were joined by students for a rally, which gathered outside Newcastle's City Pool in Northumberland Road.

Armed with placards, they marched to the Civic Centre and along Northumberland Street, attracting attention from shoppers, before stopping at Grey's Monument to continue the protest.

The strike action and demonstration was organised by the University and College Union (UCU).

It also drew support from the National Union of Teachers, the NASUWT and the public services union, PCS.

UCU's vice president, Kathy Taylor, who used to be a lecturer at Northumberland College, said: "Every single university and college in the North East was represented at the protest. "I am so pleased with the fantastic turn-out. It's great to see so many students supporting the lecturers .

We supported the students when they held demonstrations a few months ago over rising tuition fees and the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), so it was wonderful to see them standing by our side at the picket line.

"A strike is always a last resort and we only decided on industrial action after we had tried every other means of resolving the dispute between lecturers and the employers. …