If you’re not aware but many university staff members, mainly teaching staff, are going on strike from this coming week. The dates they are striking are:
- Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd February
- Monday 26th, Tuesday 27th & Wednesday 28th February
- Monday 5th, Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th & Thursday 8th March
- Monday 12th, Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th, Thursday 15th & Friday 16th March
In a nutshell, members of staff are striking due to cut to their pensions. All information and an in-depth breakdown as to why these strikes are taking place can be found on the UCU website: https://www.ucu.org.uk
From a students perspective, these strikes are very disruptive and in my opinion can’t have come at a worser time (but I guess that is the whole point of a strike). By the time the strikes end, we will be nearing the end of the semester before the Easter break. For myself the strikes end a week before a big deadline and with many teaching staff going on strikes if I need any help, who I can go to is limited.
However, despite my concerns I do support the strikes as the extent to which pensions are being cut is huge and for staff who have dedicated a major part of their lives to their research and teaching, for their futures to be so uncertain is unfair. If pensions do get axed, it will only result in the reduction in the numbers of people that decide to enter the profession of teaching in higher education.
But if you do feel like the students do deserve some kind of compensation for the disruption they will be facing, there is a petition asking for students to be refunded for the teaching time they are not receiving. This can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/university-of-leicester-compensate-students-for-strike-action?recruiter=856337962&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition