Further to my email last Friday, I would like to provide you with further information about the national strike action and the steps the University is taking to minimise disruption.
We are one of 61 universities whose members of the national UCU (the University and College Union) have voted in support of strike action. At the University, approximately 7.5% of all staff voted in favour of industrial action. We estimate that the proportion of teaching staff who voted for industrial action will have been higher (perhaps up to 20%) but we do not anticipate that there will be widespread disruption across all of the planned strike days. We have detailed plans in place to minimise the impact on students.
We understand the uncertainty this proposed action may cause and we would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to ensure your academic outcomes are not affected
How might your timetable be affected?
Not all members of academic staff are members of UCU and some UCU members may not participate in strike action. Therefore, we ask you to continue to attend your timetabled sessions, and to submit your assignments by their due dates. Wherever possible, we will let you know in advance if any of your teaching sessions are likely to be affected, however staff are not obliged to tell us if they intend to take industrial action.
We have asked any UCU members who participate in the strike to provide teaching content to their students in an alternative format (digitally via ELE, recap, podcasts, directed reading material etc.) by the end of term 2.
Could this affect your assessments and degree outcomes?
We will ensure that any disruption caused by the strike is carefully accounted for when evaluating student performance on modules and degree programmes. We have rich data which provides us with an empirical basis on which to measure and correct any impact of strike action on teaching and learning. By carefully considering the effects of any disruption on module marks, we will ensure that the final marks that contribute to your progression and degree award are fair and equitable. Naturally, normal appeal processes will apply.
The planned strike action does not include a boycott of marking or assessment. Should examinations, assessments and vivas coincide with the strike action they will be rescheduled at the earliest opportunity.
When is the planned industrial action?
- Thursday 22 and Friday 23 February 2018 (two consecutive days)
- Monday 26 – Wednesday 28 February 2018 (three consecutive days)
- Monday 5 – Thursday 8 March 2018 (four consecutive days)
- Monday 12 – Friday 16 March (five consecutive days)
We have drawn up a Frequently Asked Questions page for you so we can answer any further queries that you might have, and we will keep this page updated throughout this period. This page includes information about the proposed changes to the pension scheme and the background to the dispute.
Further information on the Students’ Guild position can be read online. FXU are currently considering their position on industrial action.
Finally, let me reaffirm my commitment to do all that I can to ensure that the impact on your experience is minimised and that your academic outcomes are not adversely affected by this planned industrial action. We still very much hope that on-going national negotiations will resolve this dispute before the strike commences and we will continue to keep you informed as the situation progresses.
With best wishes,
Professor Timothy A Quine
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education)
Professor of Earth Surface Science