Students at universities across the UK are facing disruption as a planned strike staff begins. The industrial action is set to last for 14 days, with staff walking out in protest over pay and working conditions.
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The strike is expected to affect up to one million students studying at 60 universities nationwide. Teaching activities such as lectures and seminars are likely to be affected, while assessments and exams may be rescheduled or cancelled altogether.
The University & College Union (UCU) said they had been left with no choice but to take industrial action after months of deadlocked talks between employers and union representatives failed to reach an agreement
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “We deeply regret the disruption that striking will cause, but vice-chancellors have left us with no option. Staff have had enough of years of real-term pay cuts and changes to their contracts that have left them struggling to make ends meet”.
Students are advised to keep an eye on their university’s website for updates on how the strike will affect them. Some universities provide financial support for those affected by cancelled classes and assessments, while others offer online teaching sessions as replacements.
The Universities UK (UUK), which represents university employers, said it was “disappointed” the UCU had gone ahead with the industrial action and called on both sides to resume talks to try and reach an agreement.
It’s yet to be seen how the strike will affect students and university staff, but the disruption could have a lasting impact on those affected. It remains to be seen whether talks between employers and union representatives can resolve the dispute in time.
It is urged that all parties involved work together to devise a solution that minimises student disruption and ensures fair working practices for university staff. Those affected are advised to keep updated on any developments as they arise.
What do you think of the industrial action taken by university staff? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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