Our Statement on the Proposed UCU Industrial Strikes
Between the 22nd of February and 16th of March, the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) will begin strike action in response to changes to the USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) pension scheme which almost 400,000 UK Staff are enrolled in across Higher Education.
Strike Action or activity short of Strike Action will occur unless talks start again and a resolution is found between the UCU and UUK (Universities UK), which represents 350 University Employers, including Brunel University after negotiations collapsed in late January.
The UCU is a Trade Union registered in the United Kingdom and represents over 110,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.
195 Brunel staff members voted on the 19th of January for strike action through a UCU Ballot on this issue and therefore it is clear that this will have an impact on teaching and support at Brunel University and will impact on you, our members.
The dates for the proposed strike action are as follows:
Week One - Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd February (Two days)
Week Two - Monday 26th of February to Wednesday the 28th of February (Three days)
Week Three - Monday the 5th of March to Thursday the 8th of March (Four days)
Week Four - Monday the 12th of March to Friday the 16th of March (Five days)
The Union of Brunel Students is currently neutral in regards to the upcoming strike action planned by the UCU (Universities and College Union), however - our next Student Assembly on the 22nd of February will include a discussion and vote to establish our stance on the issue. If you’d like to make your voice heard then you can start talking to our Student Assembly members or come along for the debate. Only students who have been elected to Student Assembly will have a vote regarding the issue, but all students will have an opportunity to voice their concerns and queries during the meeting.
The Union would also like to see a return to negotiations between UUK and UCU on this issue before strike action occurs, in order for a sustainable pension system to be in place moving forwards.
There are now, a number of things you can do:
My Student Rights
Finally we understand that you, our members, may be concerned if this UCU Strike Action impacts your studies and support at Brunel University. For example, as a result of this action - Lecturers may not attend lectures or mark work during strike days.
You can read more about your rights as a student in the University Terms and Conditions and your Student Contract that you will have signed with the University on registration. Within that document, the University has a disclaimer clause where it outlines it can not be held liable due to “Strikes, lockouts or other industrial action or disputes”.
If you’re already having problems with your academic experience and you feel this might be accentuated by the strike action then you should can speak to your Personal Tutor, Department Head or the Student Centre staff in the Howell Building.
For further information in the meantime please see responses from the following organisations: