Tuesday 06-03-2018 - 18:37
Dear all students,
As you all know, many of your lecturers have been on strike to challenge the changes to their pension benefits. This dispute comes after Universities UK proposed to end the defined benefit element of the Universities Superannuation (USS) pension scheme, which could cost the average lecturer over £10,000 a year in retirement. Strike action has been taken as the last resort.
What has happened so far?
- Over a thousand lecturers and students came together and attended the rally on the first day of the strike. It was great to see so many students come out in support of their lecturers.
- On 23 February, Hugh Brady finally called on UUK to go back to the negotiating table with UCU. Read the full statement here.
- UUK then finally announced that they would agree to negotiations with UCU on Tuesday 27 February but were insisting on a bizarre precondition that the talks could not discuss the proposed cuts to pensions.
- Students overwhelmingly backed a motion at our Annual Members Meeting (AMM) to renew our commitment to supporting UCU strikes.
- Following the talks with UCU, both sides agreed to go for further talks mediated by the conciliation service Acas, which will begin on Monday (5 March). The remaining strike days will continue as planned. We continue to encourage students to NOT cross the picket line on any of the remaining strike days - this means you should not attend non-compulsory lectures and should not go to meetings with Lecturers and other staff who might be on strike as this would undermine the significance of the strike.
- Yesterday students from the Bristol Student-Staff Solidarity group occupied Senate House ‘in solidarity with the national UCU strikes'
'The occupiers are taking part in peaceful protests in support of our lecturers and other staff, who are on strike against attacks to their pensions by Universities UK (UUK). They have stated their commitment to remaining in occupation until Hugh Brady has addressed their demands’
You can find out more information about their demands here. You can also sign their open letter here
- This morning Hugh Brady has met with the occupiers and we expect the university to communicate the outcomes of the meeting with students as soon as possible.
- The university has also agreed that all the money withheld from staff in relation to the UCU strike action will be put back into student-facing activities and have agreed to the SU's request for this to be focused on student wellbeing support. We will be meeting with the University management team in the next coming weeks to discuss this further.
- Tomorrow's Strike Action, Wednesday, 7th March – UCAS Post-Offer Visit Day
The main picket line will be outside the Wills Memorial Building. Assemble from 8:30, 10:30 rally and march to College Green.
- March 7th: School of Modern Languages Strike. Find out more here.
- March 7th: Marketisation of Education – The Arts House @ 2:30pm
- March 8th: UCU International Women's Day. Find out more here
- March 8th: International Women's Day - Hypermasculinity, Lad Culture and Female Underrepresentation – The Arts House @ 2:30pm.
Mason Ammar – Undergraduate Education Officer
Shubham Singh – Postgraduate Education Officer
Lucky Dube – Student Living Officer
Des Ibekwe – Equality, Liberation and Access Officer
John House – Sports and Student Development Officer
Stanford – Union Affairs Officer