Why the SU are supporting the UCU strike:
As you may have seen previously, the University of Nottingham Students’ Union are supporting the upcoming UCU strikes due to begin this Thursday 22nd February. (To find out more on how we came to this decision, please read our FAQs). Since the release of the statement and FAQs, we have received questions and concern of the Students’ Union’s decision to support the industrial action, because of the effects it will have on teaching. Here is why we believe we should support UCU in their industrial action:
- PhD students who teach are our members. These students can be members of both the Students’ Union and UCU. They are the future of teaching and will soon themselves be paying in to the USS pension scheme as they continue their careers as academics.
- If UUK resume meaningful negotiations with UCU, the strike will stop. The more pressure the University is under, the more likely the Vice Chancellor is to speak out against UUK and encourage them to resume negotiations with UCU. In short – if students get behind the strike, it could finish quicker.
- Low staff morale is bad for student experience. Better working conditions and stability for academic staff will in turn lead to better teaching and a better student experience – this is exactly what the Students’ Union stand for.
Nobody decides to take industrial action lightly. By failing to enter meaningful negotiations and work constructively with UCU, the upcoming strikes are the end result of a failure of leadership on the part of UUK and university senior management. If you would like to raise your concerns with the University, you can write to the Vice Chancellor with this template letter.
Students’ Union Officers, 20/02/18.