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University and college staff in Cambridge to join Friday's climate change action

18 September 2019

Staff across Cambridge will join students and climate crisis protestors on Friday (20 September), as part of the campaign for global climate action.

University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, sanctioned staff taking 30 minutes out of their day after a letter calling for the university's support amassed over 500 signatures.

The University and College Union (UCU) welcomed the move and called for more colleges and universities to make allowances for their staff to get involved in Friday's protests.

Protestors will march from Cambridgeshire County Council offices at Shire Hall, Castle Street at 9.30am to make their way to King's Parade for a rally at 11.15am. Protesters will hear from young people involved in the action as well as representatives from the local trades council and Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. There will be a second rally in the evening at King's Parade, starting at 6pm.

University of Cambridge staff and students are being encouraged to attend a discussion of how scientists and trade unionists can work together to tackle climate change. Climate scientists will join UCU members and students in the Students' Union Lounge on Mill Lane from 3pm.

Staff at Anglia Ruskin University will be meeting at 1pm in the courtyard of the Lord Ashcroft Building to hear from speakers including school students, ARU's chief operating officer James Rolfe and  UCU green rep Victoria Tair.

At Cambridge Regional College, members and students who can't join the morning demonstration are being encouraged to attend a lunchtime solidarity rally outside the main campus.

Last week the trade union movement officially backed UCU's call to support Friday's school strikes and urged workers to join in the action for 30 minutes. The University and College Union (UCU) has written to the national representatives of universities and colleges asking them to allow staff to participate.

Other institutions that have confirmed support for the climate protests include the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leicester, Bristol University, the University of Leeds and Capital City College Group.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'The trade union movement is fully behind the actions against the climate crisis. The work done by Greta Thunberg and school students around the world has been inspirational and now it's time for the rest of us to make our voices heard. We are pleased the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge Regional College can be added to the growing number of colleges and universities that are encouraging their staff to get involved with Friday's protests and other action.'

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