Many lecturers and academic support staff took part in strike action last trimester, which was suspended after UCU members voted nationally to accept a deal. The proposed exam period strikes did not go ahead and all teaching resumed back to normal that trimester.
What did your officers do during the strikes?
- Seured student representation in the form of Officers and Union staff in subsequent meetings.
- Ensured that the university minimised disruption and ensured effective communications to students.
- Spearheaded the creation of Module Mitigation forms for every module effected by the strikes. These were available on Canvas and covered a variety of measures to compensate students on what they have missed and helped ensure they met their learning outcomes.
- If students were not happy with the mitigation measures in place, we encouraged them to send their complaints to the Officer Team so we could directly escalate it to the University Leadership team.
- Helped affected students get further extensions on assessments.
- Ensured withheld pay from staff was ring-fenced for the benefit of students and that the students’ union should be involved in the decision on what it is used for.
- Shared our own FAQs for students and posted information on what students could do to take action. (link)
- Our Advice Centre supported numerous students before, during and after the strikes.
Although that period of strikes are over for now, there are still questions that need to be answered. A key question that has not been fully clarified is what is going to happen with the wages the University withheld from striking staff.
After a discussion during the strike action with the University, the 17/18 officer team asked for these funds to be ring-fenced for the benefit of students and that the Students’ Union should be involved in the decision on what the money is used for.
The University were happy to agree with our proposal. They let us know that they needed to wait until final exam & degree results came out before any consultation to students happened and before funds were released so they’d be clear on their position with the funds and so no one had any false expectations. As an officer team we kept this issue of dispersing the ring-fenced money on the agenda to senior members of staff at the University multiple in order to ensure they knew it was of great importance and that we would not forget about our agreement.
Now that period is over, the first few busy weeks of the trimester are out of the way and the majority of students are back for the new academic year, the Student President Team want to hear directly from you what you think the funds should go towards. We have set up a survey so that you can have your say. HUU does not believe that the university should profit from strike action and we intend to ensure that withheld wages are used in a way that sincerely benefits students.
If you have any further questions please feel free to get in touch with the Student President team at [email protected].