The University and College Union (UCU) – the trade union that represents lecturers, researchers and other university staff such as librarians and administrators – has voted in favour of strike action.
There will be fourteen days of strike action from Thursday 20 February to Friday 13 March.
What is the background?
The strike relates to ongoing disputes between UCU and university employers, represented by Universities UK (UUK), about pensions, pay and working conditions. Discussions are ongoing between UCU, Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), with the hope that a resolution can be found.
What is NUSU doing/What is NUSU’s role in this?
Students are always our first priority, and we are here to represent all of you. Therefore, at this moment, as a Sabbatical Officer team, we believe that taking a neutral is the best way for us to support you. This is because we encourage students to form their own opinions, as we are aware that there are students who support lecturers in their action and those who do not. As a result, we believe that taking a side would not stay true to our duty of representing the diverse student body as best we can.
As your elected Sabbatical Officers, it is also our duty to ensure that your academic interests are always taken into account, and this includes working to mitigate any impact on your studies.
How did NUSU support students during the last strikes?
- All our social media was up-to-date to ensure all students have the latest information.
- NUSU Course Reps and School Reps collected detailed feedback on the impact of the strikes within their degree programmes and we fed this back to heads of the different schools across the University.
- We met with key University staff members to ensure that assessment adjustments were made for material not covered during action.
- Our Student Advice Centre (SAC) informed students about strike impact PEC forms and consumer rights.
We will provide this support again for the upcoming strikes.
What did NUSU achieve for students as a result of the 2017/18 strikes?
We put forward the following proposals to the University, all of which were implemented:
- 50% off food and drinks for all students at key campus outlets, during the exam revision period.
- Free gown hire for all students at affected campuses graduating in July and December 2018 congregations.
- Extra funding for mental health and counselling services to support all students.
- Additional funding provided to NUSU for the refurbishment of some areas in the Students’ Union Building and replacement of equipment, which will be of benefit to all students using the services.
What happens next?
We appreciate that there is a wide range of views among the student body regarding strike action. While we as a Sabbatical Officer team will maintain a neutral collective stance, we will also ensure that NUSU provides accurate, useful information that will allow you to draw your own individual conclusions. As Sabbs, we encourage students to speak to us about their views on the strikes and how they may be affected. Feedback is always crucial because we’re here to support you and make your experience the best it can be by devoting our time to these issues.
If you have any Uni related questions please send these across to the Academic Registrar using this link.
Also you can refer to the FAQs that are available on the Industrial Action webpages.