UCU industrial action - updates from the SU

UCU industrial action - updates from the SU

Help and support during industrial action

If you feel that you may be affected by the strikes, please contact our free and impartial Advice Team. There is information in the Advice section of our website about what you can do if you would like to make a complaint - click here for all the information.

If you would like to feedback to GSU with your views and thoughts on the planned strike action then please let us know through our feedback form which can be found here - greenwichsu.co.uk/feedback

 


Monday 17th February 

We have created a new online hub of information about the UCU strikes, our stance, Jargon Busters and questions that may help you answer any queries. Please visit greenwichsu.co.uk/strike for all the latest information.
 


Friday 14th February

Following our update yesterday, we have written a letter to University College Union (UCU) members. Please read on for a message from our Officer team:

Dear UCU Greenwich members,  

We are writing to express our solidarity with the University College Union (UCU) strike. As students, we stand by you - the staff - who are trying to better your working conditions through industrial action. Greenwich Students’ Union (GSU) has made this decision based on our principles of collectivism and our organisational values – we are here to promote the interests of students to achieve a better education. We firmly believe that investing in staff is investing in students.  

We stand alongside other Students’ Unions and the National Union of Students (NUS) to support staff at Greenwich and at a national level. Henry Setter (GSU President) has signed a letter supporting the national campaign which will be published on our website. Please take this letter as official notice that we support the strikes planned for the confirmed dates of 25 February 2020 and 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20 March 2020. 

GSU understands that the pressures on staff have been rising, and the workloads placed on our lecturers and academic staff has ballooned in recent years. We feel that many of the issues we are fighting to change for our members are impacted by academic staff workloads.  The marketisation of our education system is a systemic issue, and the staff and student experience cannot be compromised on. The current working environment for University of Greenwich staff is not sustainable, and if nothing changes then we will struggle to preserve the education institution that we learn in.  

To reiterate, we support you on the planned dates of strike action and in the request for the University and Colleges Employers Association to engage with UCU nationally in negotiations. Furthermore, we also support the request for the University of Greenwich to take all necessary steps to resolve issues of workload locally with UCU. We hope that a swift resolution is found.  

GSU will still be running all services as normal around and during strike days. We will be taking steps to ensure our members are as informed as possible and have access to support and guidance throughout and beyond the period.  

We have published a letter to all students outlining our stance of support for UCU in the upcoming strikes on the GSU website. 

Yours faithfully,? 

The GSU Officer team - Henry Setter, Jono Smith, Mayo Femi-Obalemo and Bilal Ijaz 
 


Thursday 13th February

Following our update yesterday, we have written an open letter to students about our stance on the industrial action. Please read on for a message from our Officer team:

Dear all University of Greenwich Students, 

As you may be aware, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) which represent academic staff at the University are currently in dispute with the University over working conditions and pay. Unfortunately, the dispute has not been resolved and UCU members have elected to strike.  

This is an open letter to express our support and solidarity with UCU and the staff of the University of Greenwich who are a part of this union. We are joining in the national lobby through the National Union of Students (NUS) in urging the University of Greenwich to take every action to move toward a quick resolution to this dispute.   

The strike nationally covers four key areas; Workload, Conditions, Pay and Casualisation. As students, we stand by the staff who are trying to better their working conditions through strike action.  

As the Officer team at Greenwich Students’ Union (GSU) we are elected to represent the needs of our members, and the four of us have made the collective decision to support the industrial action, which this letter is formal notice of. Politically, strikes can be a divisive topic for students; however, it is important to understand that staff working conditions is a student issue and has direct effects on the student experience. 

National issues of the marketisation of our education system and the disregard for an accessible education has huge pressures on students and staff. In these challenging times, the wellbeing of our students and staff cannot be compromised on. Current working environments for University staff is not a sustainable position, and if nothing changes then we will struggle to preserve the education institution we learn in. 

We believe that many issues students face can be traced back to very high workloads on academic staff. Through supporting this strike, we are raising our voices and asking for the correct action to take place to ensure a better long-term environment for students to learn in. Investing in staff is investing in students.  

This letter is formal notice that we are supporting the strikes on the confirmed dates of 25 February and 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19 and 20 March 2020.  

We are aware that the strikes will cause some disruption including to some key SU activity, including the GSU Elections. We will be sending out guidance to candidates about this and we want to reassure you that GSU will still be functioning as normal with all SU outlets and spaces open for you to use (e.g. Change, Lower Deck). GSU is committed to supporting students through this period and beyond, and we are hoping for a swift resolution to the dispute. We have produced useful guidance for students here: greenwichsu.co.uk/advice/academic/industrial-action/ which we will be updating throughout the strike period. 

Furthermore, we know that the partnership between students and staff makes our University thrive and if we do not value the people who make up our University properly then we undermine the very essence in what makes Greenwich great. We hope students will understand why it is important to support our staff and we want to reiterate that investing in staff is investing in students. 

Yours faithfully, 

Your Officer Team - Henry Setter, Jono Smith, Bilal Ijaz and Mayo Femi-Obalemo 

 

We have also written to the University Vice-Chancellor - please click here see our letter to them.

 


Wednesday 12th February

University College Union (UCU), a trade union that represents a range of university staff roles, recently announced that there would be 14 days of strike action across a number of UK universities in February and March.

Greenwich Students' Union (GSU) is aware of the planned industrial action, and that members from the University of Greenwich have voted to take part. The GSU Officers have a meeting with UCU this week (Wednesday 12th February) to find out more information and the potential impact this will have on the delivery of academic work, campus activity and general student welfare.

We will then release a further statement this week after our meeting with UCU, outlining our stance and position in regard to the strike. 

If you feel that you may be affected by the strikes, please contact our free and impartial Advice Team. There is information in the Advice section of our website about what you can do if you would like to make a complaint - click here for all the information.

If you would like to feedback to GSU with your views and thoughts on the planned strike action then please let us know through our feedback form which can be found here - greenwichsu.co.uk/feedback

 

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