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University lecturers strike

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Out: Lampeter academics at the College gates

WHILE planned strike action by staff belonging to the University College Union took place in Lampeter on Wednesday (May 25), lecturers at Aberystwyth University chose to snub the nationwide strike.

The UCU negotiators met with the UCEA last week in the hope of finding a solution to the current dispute, amidst growing anger over news that vicechancellor pay rose by 6.1% last year.

UCEA made no improvement either on a 1.1% pay offer to staff, or on measures to address gender inequality and insecure contracts.

In Lampeter, members of UCU picketed the College Road entrance of Lampeter University between 12noon and 2pm on Wednesday.

Academic and support staff are also taking this action in protest at yet another restructuring process, which will affect posts in all departments of UWTSD Lampeter.

A member of Lampeter staff said: ‘We are all feeling very uncertain of the future. Some members of staff picketed in masks on Wednesday, so as not to be identified and to highlight how vulnerable we feel.’

Students and local residents joined the demonstrators and passing cars honked their horns to show their support for the action by university staff.

A senior member of academic staff said today: “Lecturers and support staff are overstretched to the point where students will suffer. If there are further job losses the Lampeter campus will lose all coherence, and the town will suffer in consequence.

One local resident supporting the strike said, “We support the staff, because what happens in the university affects us in the town. The university is being run down. We need the university and we need the students here, they bring business to the town.”

A spokesperson for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David said: “The University received formal notification from UCU that it would be calling its members to take industrial action which would take the form of 2 days of strike action on May 25 and 26. The University has noted this information and has ensured that there is a process in place to ensure that the quality of the student experience is maintained.”

However, at Aberystwyth there was less solidarity with staff at Lampeter.

At an AGM held on May 18, the UCU branch rejected the call to take part in any of the forms of strike action proposed by their union.

At the AGM, the majority of UCU members present expressed the view that pay was not the most serious issue facing staff at Aberystwyth University and that the proposed actions would be ineffective.

These opinions are summarised in the following motion, supported by the majority of attendees at the AGM:

“This Branch feels that the proposed strike action would be counterproductive in this institution, and that pay is not our primary issue. This association will leave participation to individual members”.

That motion was carried with two opposing and two abstentions.

As a result, the Local Association has decided not to form a strike committee to organise for the coming actions. Instead, officers, departmental representatives and other UCU activists will devote their time to other campaigns which have the support of the local membership.

A disappointed Aberystwyth academic told our reporter Kelvin Mason: “The Union has voted not to support the national strike locally. This is such a show of lack of solidarity to comrades in the union UK-wide. There was a national ballot on it in favour of strike action! The local UCU will be walked all over by management now.”

CEH270516_Page_04_Image_0004In addition to the action scheduled for this week, the proposed strike actions are:

  • A further day of strike action in June or July aimed at creating maximum local disruption.
  • Resignation from external examiner positions
  • Work to contract
  • Strike action on 18 August (when A Level results are released in England)
  • Marking boycott
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Over 25 million views for takeaway’s viral video

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A TAKEAWAY in Tregaron has struck viral gold – again.

Their latest video, featuring a ‘monster kebab’ has had at least 25 million views.

The company’s Facebook page now has over 50,000 likes.

The video was shared on popular video channel LADbible and has over 11.5 million views.

Another page, UniLad, shared the video and has over 9 million views.

The UniLad page said: “With the help of 6 friends, you have 8 minutes to demolish this MONSTER kebab! Who’s on your team?”

In September last year, a ‘hangover cure’ video went viral for the business, racking up millions of views.

At the time, Lisa McEwen, a staff member at the popular takeaway, told The Herald: “One of our customers tagged us in something similar online and our Manager Pasha Pasaoglu – being the business entrepreneur that he is – decided we can make this better! And that’s where the Giant Mix-meat Challenge was born​.

“With Tregaron having such a small population we could never have expected to get this much publicity but it’s gone viral and we are so proud and grateful to all of our customers, regular and new​.”

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Three arrested as man is hospitalised with ‘life threatening injuries’

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THREE men have been arrested after a man was hospitalised in the early hours of this morning (Jan 14) with what police are calling ‘life threatening injuries’.

The incident took place in High Street, Aberystwyth, at approximately 2:20am.

Three men, ages 20, 23 and 25 have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent.

They are in police custody.

Police are now appealing for witnesses to contact them as a matter of urgency.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police is investigating a serious assault at High Street, Aberystwyth, which happened at around 2.20am today (Sunday, 14 Jan). As a result of the attack a man is in hospital with life threatening injuries.

“Three men, aged 25, 23 and 20, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent and remain in police custody at this time.

“Police are appealing for witnesses who were at, or near, High Street between 12.45am and 2.30am. Anyone with information, or footage of the attack, is urged to report it to Aberystwyth police by calling 101, quoting incident 402. If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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Morgan, 7, loses long battle with cancer

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THE FAMILY of a brave seven-year-old boy have said he has sadly lost his fight with cancer.

Morgan Hayes, from Whitland, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February 2015 when he was just 4-years-old.

After being given the all-clear following numerous treatments, unfortunately the cancer returned.

He was then the focus of a campaign, Morgan’s Fight, to raise funds for him to get treatment in the United States of America.

However, despite the funds raised, Morgan was too unwell for the treatment in New York.

He instead underwent radiotherapy at home.

A statement posted on the Morgan’s Appeal Facebook page read: “It is with a very heavy heart I write this on behalf of Ben, Sophie and their families.

“Morgan passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning, in the arms of his Mum, Dad and family.

“We thank you all for your on going support and kind words.

“Please respect the family’s need to grieve together during this very difficult time.”

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