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University staff strike: an update from your officers

Friday 20-05-2016 - 00:00

Bristol SU stands in solidarity with UCU and their strike action on 25 and 26 May. The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) is the main trade Union for professional staff in Universities. At the Bristol SU Annual Members Meeting in 2014, students passed a motion to mandate this support.

UCU members do not want to strike. However, since 2009, the cumulative loss to their pay (compared to rises in inflation) is 14.5%, and only a 1.1% pay rise has been offered this year. On top of this they face a gap in pay between men and women in the sector and employment security is decreasing rapidly. We encourage employers to get back around the negotiating table and increase their offer to 5%.

Staff are being asked to do more for less and this is having a negative effect on all of our educational experiences. This is why is it within all of our interests to support the academics striking next week. Furthermore, some members striking will be postgraduate students with teaching responsibilities.

This strike should have little impact on students during this extremely stressful time and two of the SU’s full-time officers (Max and Laura) are involved in the University Assessment Oversight Group which looks to minimise the strike’s impact on students.

However, we must not sit back while our academic staff are put in worse and worse conditions due to the further marketisation of Higher Education.

To show your support, join us next Wednesday 25 May for UCU’s rally outside Senate House and a march to the Wills Memorial Building. Details here.

If you are concerned about your assessments, contact your Head of School and they will be able to fill you in on whether you will be affected. The planned strike does not alter any exam arrangements, venues and times. As ever, if you have any questions or concerns about this, or anything else, please contact our JustAsk team.


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