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 favor 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 universities, 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 UUSU doing/What is UUSU’s role in this?
Students are always our number one priority, and we are here to represent and support all of you. It is our duty to ensure that your academic interests are always considered, and this includes working to mitigate any impact on your studies. We will work to do this through building relationships with UCU and University staff to ensure you are as well informed and supported during this time.
How did UUSU support students during the last strikes?
All our social media was up-to-date to ensure all students had the latest live information.
All students were asked to provide feedback on the impact of the strikes within their degree programmes through an online survey and a dedicated email address.
We received assurances that assessment adjustments were made for material not covered during action.
We provided on campus, visible support for students to speak to us in relation to their worries and concerns during the strike period.
We will provide this support again for the upcoming strikes and will continue to work on:
- Lobbying UCU for timely communications to students with regards to how classes will be impacted;
- Continuing to work with the University to review the case for compensation to students adversely affected;
- Working to ensure additional academic support and access to alternative staff for students worried about the impact of this longer period of strikes.
What did UUSU achieve for students as a result of the 2017/18 strikes?
As well as ensuring that assessment adjustments were allocated during the 17/18 period of strikes, we also secured a fund of in excess of £250,000 to be placed back into the student body. This resonated into additional wellbeing advisors to support students in need, a better welcoming experience for new and returning students and additional monies placed into a hardship fund to support students in financial crisis.
What happens next?
UUSU and the wider University remains open for business throughout the period of strikes – our offices, cafes and canteens will be there for you and you will be able to access libraries and labs etc.
We appreciate that there is a wide range of views among the student body regarding strike action. Please keep us informed of your views and experience of the strikes by emailing: email@example.com
We will also be circulating a survey link during the strikes to gather your feedback.
If you have any University related questions, please contact your Course Director in the first instance.
The University will also be maintaining a page on its website to keep you updated and this will contain an FAQ guide to further support you. https://www.ulster.ac.uk/update