Do you support your lecturer?
NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect more recent strike action for the pay dispute…
On Thursday 6th and Monday 10th February, many staff members at Universities across the country will walk out, as the trade union for our lecturers (UCU), have voted again to go on strike.
UCU (the main Union for our lecturers) stated in their main press release on the strike, that staff have now received a pay cut of 13% in real terms in the last 5 years. This is completely unacceptable, and is causing many talented staff members across the University consider leaving the sector. This is not the beginning of an argument, our lecturers have been fighting for better pay for the last 5 years with no compromise.
At Union Council on Tuesday, students voted based on current policy that we should be supporting our lecturers in this upcoming strike, as they didn’t believe that this strike would have a severe adverse effect on the student experience (although it was a close vote)… but what will the strike mean?
- Some lectures and seminars will be cancelled (check with your tutor to find out whether they will still be continuing with their teaching).
- Security and administrative staff will be striking, so some campus buildings and facilities will be closed entirely.
The part that you play in this strike is completely up to you! UCU have been working closely with SUSU where possible to ensure that this action does not come at the expense of students and you can read statements from UCU and Unison here.
We encourage students to support your lecturer – they are ultimately taking this action because they feel unhappy and unappreciated. This is a chance to all come together as academic community in opposition to the cuts to higher education funding, and thus cuts to the wages of our lecturers. If you do support your lecturer in their action, here’s a few things you could do:
- Pop them an email to say so, it would mean a lot to them
- Join some of the striking staff at various picket points around campus – especially outside building 37 at 11am.
- Contribute to #fairpayinHE and show your support online
- Sign the national petition – http://www.fairpayinhe.org.uk/sign-here/
- SUSU will be allowing UCU to leave promotional materials at our reception, so pop along to collect some
David Gilani – SUSU President