University cuts protest
On Thursday 24th February, Birmingham City University students joined up with union members to protest against the cuts in Birmingham. The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) are planning to axe up to £940 million in funding for Universities in England in the next financial year with severe cuts to budgets and teaching. This could result in lecturers losing their jobs, whilst it is expected that approximately 4,300 jobs will be cut from the council itself over the next 4 years.
But it wasn't just the education cuts that people were protesting against. Amongst those who attended the protest was Pete Duffy, a representative for Cuts Against Council Conditions, who said he was disgusted at the proposed public sector cuts. "I work with people who work at the low end of the scale, such as cleaners and dinner ladies, and we are all against these cuts. These people are on a low pay and they can't afford for their wages to be cut. At a recent meeting, 95% of us voted that action needs to be taken. I will be attending the march in London, and I think action needs to be taken right now".
Also in attendance at the protest was NUT member, Stuart Richardson and Richard Hatcher who works at the University, who had some strong words to say about the budget cuts. "I believe that the cuts will decimate the board right across (the city). There isn't a family in Birmingham that won't be affected in some way by the Government". He also went on to comment on the effect the cuts will have in the Education sector. "I work in education and I understand how important education, especially early education, actually is. They're planning to cut back the Surestart programme, meaning that families and children who need to benefit from the scheme, wont".
However, opposition to the planned cuts is not limited to Birmingham. All across the country people are protesting against the cuts in their respective towns and cities, whilst a huge march is scheduled to take place in London on 26 March 2011, protesting the cuts to public spending. It is thought that up 250,000 members of the public will attend the protest, which has been organised by the Trades Union Congress.
For more information about the march in London and for details on transportation to London from Birmingham, visit http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/2011/01/tuc-national-demonstration-against-cuts-26-march-london/