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This past week, many of you have been emailing us at the union regarding the upcoming strike action and have communicated your concerns and worries to us. Today I have written an open letter to the Provost reaffirming our solidarity with striking staff and demanding clarity for students regarding their studies (see below).

Dear Provost,

I am writing on behalf of members of the Students’ Union who have expressed their disappointment and discontent at the news of upcoming strike action, due to the pensions of UCL staff being under threat and that some staff could be facing a loss of between 10 and 40 percent of their retirement income.

We are in full support and solidarity with academic and non-academic staff who are having the terms of their pensions changed without their consent or approval. We support their right to take action, and hope that employers see sense and accept staff demands before these strikes take place.

We are aware that these negotiations take place at a national level and as such we would ask that you as Provost of UCL, put pressure on Universities UK to resume negotiations with staff and to avoid the need for strike action.

As a result of this action many students will face considerable disruption to their teaching and contact hours in the upcoming weeks. We welcome UCL’s commitment to contributing any pay deducted as part of this strike action towards the Student Hardship Fund.  We also appreciate the information communicated today in the myUCL newsletter, however, students urgently need further assurance on what arrangements will be put in place to address the following concerns:

  1. How will upcoming assessments and exams take into account any content which is not taught?
  2. Will students be penalised for missing teaching events in line with the attendance requirements in the academic regulations? 
  3. What measures will be put in place for students on a Tier 4 visa to ensure their immigration status is not jeopardised and their engagement with their studies continues?
  4. Will missed teaching be a valid reason for students to be granted extenuating circumstances at their next assessment point? Will this apply automatically, or will students need to apply as individuals?
  5. Will students be given a partial refund in tuition fees in lieu of teaching material due to this strike action? 

Finally, will there be a guarantee that the above measures will also take into account students who choose not to attend classes on strike days out of solidarity with striking staff. We strongly ask you to ensure that the academic experience is not adversely affected at UCL and that you urge Universities UK to resume negotiations with the staff union so that they can agree to a fair and reasonable resolution. 

Yours sincerely,
Sarah Al-Aride
Education Officer 2017-18, Students’ Union UCL

We are currently in the process of gathering as much information as we can about what you should expect, and will be providing updates on this page as we find out more. You can also find out more about why staff are striking and why we are supporting them. If you have any further questions or queries email myself, Mark, or Justine.