The University of Manchester and the Students’ Union have issued a joint statement on the strike action set to start this week, stating that they are both committed to ensuring “that the industrial action will not prevent students from graduating or progressing to the next academic year”.
Following a meeting between SU exec team members and University leadership, the University confirmed that it will not benefit financially from the strikes, with all money withheld from staff salaries to be reinvested into benefiting students.
Areas it highlighted would benefit from this additional investment included disability and student support services, scholarships for financially disadvantaged students, and a series of student-led sustainability initiatives.
The University has also confirmed that students will not be assessed teaching content missed during the industrial action, “unless that content is made up in an accessible way”.
From Monday 25th of November, members of the University and College Union (UCU) will carry out eight days of strikes over pension and pay issues. Members have also committed to ‘action short of a strike’ past the 4th of December.
The Union has warned that if issues are not resolved, the industrial action will continue into 2020.
Both bodies sought to “assure you of our commitment to ensuring that students are not unfairly disadvantaged by the strike action”.
The statement continues: “While the University and the Students’ Union do not agree on every aspect of the current situation, we stand together in our determination to ensure that the impact on current students is minimised. Many students will never have experienced industrial action, and so clear communication is important throughout this period of uncertainty, hence this joint communication. We will continue to discuss the impacts of prolonged industrial action to make sure that students’ voices and opinions are heard at the highest level of the University and treated with the urgency they require. We will provide further updates on those discussions to keep communication and our stances clear, and will continue to work together wherever possible.”
“We want to assure you of our commitment to ensuring that students are not unfairly disadvantaged by the strike action. If any student remains dissatisfied, there are established appeal and complaint procedures that your school or the Students’ Union advice centre can advise you on. Model documents for this are available on the Students’ Union website, and there are also FAQs which will continue to be updated on MyManchester.”