The Socialist Society at Queen’s University Belfast secured enough votes in their referendum today to make strike action on the 13th March Union policy.
On Thursday 26th February, students at Queen’s University Belfast were asked the following question:
“Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union should strike on Friday 13 March 2015 to coincide with strike action planned by the Trade Union Movement. This strike should be part of a sustained campaign against cuts to university funding and austerity, as outlined in the Assembly Budget and Stormont House Agreement, and implemented by all of the Assembly Executive Parties.”
“DO YOU AGREE WITH THE ABOVE STATEMENT? YES / NO”
Polling closed on Thursday evening at 8pm, just as candidates in the upcoming Student Leader Elections were preparing for their final spree of postering around the University campus.
954 students voted in the Socialist Society Referendum, with 820 students voting ‘yes’, and 134 voting ‘no’.
This means that the above statement will become a recommendatory policy of the Students’ Union; however, because the Student Officer team endorsed a ‘yes’ vote, it should de facto become Student Union policy to support the strike action on the 13th March.
Eoin Dawson QUB Socialist Society Chair, told The Scoop:
“We are really happy about the result and we’re especially pleased with the turnout, particularly due to the fact that that the last referendum at Queen’s actually served to divide students.”
“This has achieved a great result in a referendum that will unite students around a common goal.”
Eoin Dawson will now meet with SU President Ciaran Gallagher to discuss what action the Students Union intends on taking to build towards the strike. The QUB Socialist Society are planning a feeder march from Queen’s to City Centre and they hope that the whole day will be encapsulated by a carnival-like atmosphere.
The University and Colleges Union ballot closes tomorrow and this effectively means that by tomorrow we will know whether or not the teaching staff at Queen’s will join students as they strike on March 13th.
Eoin explained that a key part of the strike action day will be student non-attendance in class. On the issue of whether students could suffer from not going to class, Eoin explained that “students will not be punished for not attending class, and if any students do have a class test on, the Socialist Society will try to get in touch with UCU members to delay the test until another day.”