Exec Update on Industrial Action

Exec Update on Industrial Action

University of Leeds

Following our statement on 18.11.19, the Exec would like to clarify and reinforce the support that is available from LUU for students during the current industrial action and our support for the objective to improve the conditions of staff working in higher education. LUU recognises the position of our postgraduate researcher (PGR) members and we remain committed to seeking improvements to pay, terms and conditions for PGRs, as set out in our fair pay for postgraduate teaching assistants policy.

We know that many of you are experiencing disruption across the campus and we will be working with the University at a senior level to try and arrange teaching which has been missed. We would encourage anyone with concerns about academic progress to speak directly to your department (e.g. Head of School) or visit our Help & Support team for more guidance as we know from last time that the academic impacts were causing our members a huge amount of stress. You can follow updates via the University web pages and engage with your academic departments who can also offer advice.

We are closely listening to and will actively support students who also wish to give their support to UCU and/or their striking lecturers more directly at this time, for instance by demonstrating or for advice on implications of missing teaching. A number of students have already received advice and support and we will continue to try and connect these different groups. During each day of industrial action we are running drop-ins in our Rep Room at 12pm-2pm with staff we have allocated to support campaign ideas. For students who are eligible to take industrial action, we have provided a set of FAQs within our Help & Support pages and we continue to provide FAQ’s for Postgraduate Students who teach in LUU’s Help and Support site.

Finally, we are hosting a question and answer session with the University Vice-Chancellor this evening. We have regularly challenged the Vice-Chancellor to do all he can to resolve this dispute which began prior to this academic year. This session was originally aimed at all your student leaders, but is open to any student to attend and ask questions. This event is starting at 5.45pm and being held in The Riley Smith Hall.

You can read the joint NUS-UCU statement on the strike action here, and we’d encourage you to read up as much as you can on the multiple parts to this dispute. NUS is a representative organisation of which LUU is a member of but holds independent views.  The 'For Students' page on the local UCU branch site can be found here. We decided to take a “neutral” stance on this multi-faceted and in part national issue so that students can make up their own minds and we can support every student equally while keeping our effective channels of communication with senior University management and UCU open.