You may have noticed around campus the UCU picket lines. Here’s a reminder of when the strikes are taking place and all the support on offer for you.
LUU is here for you and open as usual throughout the strikes.
What’s it all about?
The lecturers’ trade union University & College Union (UCU) has called a strike because of a failure to reach an agreement with the employers’ side Universities UK (UUK) over changes to the USS pension scheme. The current proposals have been designed to ‘de-risk’ the pension scheme but this is contested. UCU say that the proposals would mean a loss of around £10,000 a year in retirement for their members while the University contends that the changes make the pension scheme ‘sustainable and affordable’. UCU have conducted a national ballot and their members have voted for industrial strike action. Leeds University is one of around 61 institutions affected by the proposed strike action.
When are the strikes?
- Week One - Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd of February (2 days)
- Week Two - Monday 26th to Wednesday 28th of February (3 days)
- Week Three - Monday 5th to Thursday 8th of March (4 days)
- Week Four - Monday 12th to Friday 16th of March (5 days)
Remember that libraries, Campus facilities and LUU is still open.
What is the Exec's stance on it?
Your Student Executive 2018 said:
"As your elected officers, we are committed to representing the best interests of students at Leeds University, we have met separately with Leeds University Management and University & College Union (UCU) to discuss the impact of the proposed action. We understand the reasons that have lead UCU to industrial action and believe that students’ best interests will be met if the strikes are averted. Therefore, we call on both sides to return to negotiations through their national bodies. We recognise that Leeds students are going to have a wide range of responses to this action. LUU is committed to supporting all its members and ensuring that students have all the right information and are aware of how they can express themselves on this issue. We will continue to engage with both the UCU and the University locally to ensure that students are kept informed as this situation develops."
What can I do about it?
LUU and the Student Exec are sensitive to how different students will react to the proposed industrial action and we aim to ensure that you have access to the information you need and feel enabled to engage fully with the discussion:
- Attend one of the ‘Striking Insights’ teach-out sessions (free educational opportunities provided by striking staff).
- Any student with worries or specific concerns can seek help from LUU Help & Support email@example.com drop by the LUU Foyer
- Get in contact with your School and Course Reps. This can be raised at your Staff-Student Forum where you could discuss how best as a School you can inform students of the effects of the industrial action and manage potential disruption
- Students who wish to support the strike action or raise concerns of the impact the strike action is having on their studies can get in touch with their School or email the Vice Chancellor of the University (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Students can write to their MPeither in Leeds or at home, asking them to sign Early Day Motion 619 which ‘calls on the Government to review the current situation and urge Universities UK to work with University and College Union to find a better solution which ensures that USS remains competitive’.
- Join the Facebook group set up by students organising support for UCU if you want to get involved.