All your questions about the strikes answered

Nora Blackie
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All your questions about the uni strikes answered


Why are they striking?

For the past and upcoming weeks, the University and College Union (UCU) will undertake what it has dubbed its "most disruptive strikes ever" in an effort to put more pressure on university employers to take action on its demands over pay, pensions, and precarity.

The last five years have seen strikes on UK campuses, but the most recent one is expected to be the biggest yet with tens of thousands of lecturers and other academic employees participating.


Who is striking?

70,000 employees in 150 higher education institutions are able to go on strike. This comprises of all the largest universities in the nation, such as UCL, Manchester Metropolitan University, Cardiff University, Leeds, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Manchester Universities, to name a few.

For a variety of reasons, not everyone will go on strike, and some locations might only see limited interruption. Institutions that are striking are getting ready to have to postpone tests and cancel classes. UCU members are not obligated to notify their institution in advance that they would be participating, and the union advises against doing so. So, it is never easy to predict which courses will be cancelled in advance, however, student unions have promised to inform students at every stage of the disruption.


How will this affect us?

The most noticeable effect will be missing some lectures and sessions. Many universities are making every attempt to provide substitute resources to make up for any lost educational opportunities. There may also be a break in other activities, including one-on-one tutoring sessions.

Unless otherwise instructed, we recommend carrying on with your lectures as scheduled but keep an eye out for any updates online or in your inbox.  Although though they are not required by law to do so, lecturers are quite good at letting students know if they are going on strike.

Places such as the library and counselling should not be effect by the strikes but if you are unsure, ask a member of staff.


What are the universities doing to support the students?

Many universities are implementing measures to make sure that students are disrupted as little as possible. Keeping in regular contact with your course mates and lecturers will make sure you have the most up to date information about any classes or test that may have been cancelled.

Most universities will be putting resources online for any missed lectures and students’ attendance will not be affected due to the strikes. Campus’ and library should be open for students to continue their work and studies but check on your student union’s website for any changes.