If you have been on to campus in the last week or so, you will have probably seen the picket lines and been handed a leaflet regarding the ongoing strike. Many members of the universities' academic and support staff have been on strike as part of the national UCU campaign against Pension changes. As a students' union we voted unanimously to support the staff who have taken the last-resort decision to take industrial action and we know that staff really appreciate the support they have received from students on the picket line.
As Postgraduate Education Officer Maddie Colledge wrote recently in her blog, it's important to have student-staff solidarity as 'We must not allow a situation where people desperate about pensions and people desperate about tuition fee rates are pitted against each other.'
Unfortunately, the nature of the industrial action is that it is affecting students. We're hopeful that UUK and UCU will come to an agreement and the strike action will end so that University life can get back to normal. However, in the mean-time, we as a Students' Union want to make sure that the burden of the strike falls as much as possible on university management and not students.
We have an FAQ page about the strikes where you can find answers to many of the questions we've been asked about the strike.
This week the strike will be taking place from today until Thursday and next week a full week of strikes are planned. If you are unsure whether your classes will be affected, we recommend turning up and, if you find they are cancelled, joining your lecturers on the picket line. Those students on professional courses who are required to have a set amount of contact hours will have their hours rescheduled.
Deadlines may be moved, but we would advise working to all deadlines you have unless you hear otherwise from your School.
Students are understandably concerned about the effects on other University services. Student support service are planning on running a full service, so if you have counselling or wellbeing appointments they should still be attended.
If you would like to support the strike as a student, you can:
Ask them whether they would like you to join them at the picket line or help in other ways.
You can write to University Management to make a complaint, urging them to ask their national representative body to return to the negotiating table.
Direct any complaints you have about the strike to the Vice Chancellor, David Richardson – D.Richardson@uea.ac.uk
If you have questions not answered in the FAQs or this blog you can get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org