Students’ Union response to UCU industrial action
On Thursday 08 February 2018, our Education Zone met for an extraordinary meeting of the Zone to discuss the recent announcement of industrial action by the University and Colleges Union (UCU).
The Education Zone is one of our groups of elected student representatives who makes decision on specific academic issues on behalf of the student body. This is where previous instances of industrial actions have been discussed. The meeting was also attended by a number of students, and we’d like to extend our thanks to them for their input.
The presentation which was shown at Education Zone can be found here, and goes through the context of the strike in more detail.
At the meeting, we voted to support the industrial action, standing in solidarity with academic staff not only from Southampton but across the UK also who are taking what is a last-resort action to protect their pensions.
We also recognised that the Zone – and indeed the Union – exists to represent students, and therefore will be sending representatives to meet with the local UCU branch to discuss ways in which we can both support students without undermining or detracting from the industrial action itself.
We would also request of the University leadership – including Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Christopher Snowden – that they join others up and down the country in encouraging Universities UK to get back around the negotiating table. Higher Education in the UK is something which we are all incredibly proud of, and this is absolutely down to the hard work and enthusiasm of academic teaching staff.
In line with what other Students’ Unions around the country are doing, we have also compiled a set of FAQs , providing a central resource for any students wishing to find out more about the industrial action and how they can support it – these can be found here. We’d also encourage you to read around the topic yourself, and will put some resources from a range of sources at the end of this post.
Questions are always welcome, and we’d encourage you to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org where one of the Representation Team will reply as quickly as possible.
Thanks again to all of the Student Leaders, Education Zone members and students who helped us to reach this decision.
(VP Education & Chair of Education Zone)
Where can I find out more?
We encourage students to read around the topic of the strikes in order to make their own judgements, so here are a number of useful resources from a range of sources:
- University of Southampton SUSSED – “UCU Industrial action information for our students”
- UCU – “UCU says strikes now look like a reality as pension talks end”
- University of Southampton SUSSED – “Industrial action February-March 2018 – FAQs”
- Times Higher Education – “UCU confirms 14 strike dates over USS pensions row”
- Southampton UCU – “Hands off our money – fight to defend our pensions”
- Universities UK – pensions information and resources
- University of Southampton SUSSED – “Open letter from the President and Vice-Chancellor – USS pension scheme”
- UCU – “Four questions about the strikes”