Message sent to all students on 18 March 2011
As you may know, the trade union representing academic staff, the University and College Union (UCU) has asked its members to take national strike action on two days next week: Tuesday 22 March and Thursday 24 March. The first strike has been called in support of UCU's campaign against changes to the USS Pension Scheme; and the second is in support of its campaign over pensions, pay and job security. The Leeds branch of the UCU is taking concurrent strike action on the second day over a number of local issues.
The questions of pensions and pay are largely out of the University's hands; these are matters that can only be resolved on a national basis. We are, however, particularly disappointed that the UCU at Leeds has decided to take action on local matters as meetings with the union are continuing to work towards a resolution of the outstanding issues.
We will do all that we can to minimise any disruption the strikes may cause to your studies:
➢ Our expectation is that many lectures and classes will proceed as normal, but that others will be cancelled or postponed.
➢ You should assume that your lectures, classes and seminars are taking place as normal unless you are notified to the contrary by your school or the member of staff concerned. (Students who do not attend teaching events which do take place will be marked as 'absent' in the usual way.)
➢ Although there might be some disruption of the services they provide, libraries are expected to be open on strike days, and IT facilities are expected to be operational. We do not expect catering or sporting facilities to be affected by the action.
➢ It is possible that some schools and their staff will in due course re-offer sessions missed because of strike action, but this is unlikely to happen in all cases. All heads of schools are being asked to ensure that missed lectures and classes are taken into account as appropriate in the assessment of coursework and examination papers.
If you have any concerns or queries please don't hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeds University Union is offering advice to students who are concerned about the disruption caused by industrial action. The Student Advice Centre can be contacted for specialist academic advice on email@example.com or 0113 380 1290. If you are generally concerned about the impact of industrial action, please contact Elliot Jebreel, your Education Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With best wishes,
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Education)