A leaked email chain between Students’ Union presidents suggests that some students may be unable to graduate at the end of this academic year if planned lecturers’ strikes go ahead.
Writing to other SU leaders, Cardiff SU president Jackie Yip warned that the strike action could see students miss so much content “that they will not be able to graduate this year, even if there are mitigating actions put in place”.
The University and College Union (UCU) are planning to undertake 14 days of strikes over pay, pensions, and working conditions. The industrial action is due to start on Thursday, February 20th, and will escalate each week until Friday 13th March. The action follows eight days of strikes at the end of 2019.
A University spokesperson said: “We have contingencies in place to ensure that any impacts on learning are mitigated and that future decisions relating to their progression, degree outcome and graduation can be taken irrespective of the impact of this industrial action.
“We expect all eligible students to be able to graduate as planned, and continuing students to be informed of their progression status.”
In the email obtained by The Tab, Students’ Union leaders from Unions including Cardiff and Sheffield discuss whether they should support the upcoming strikes despite being mandated to do so.
In November, the University of Manchester and the Students’ Union released a joint statement, outlining their commitment to ensuring “that the industrial action will not prevent students from graduating or progressing to the next academic year.”
The statement read: “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.”
The Students’ Union has historically supported the UCU in the industrial action. The Mancunion has contacted the Students’ Union for further comment.