How Can You Help?

Students overall support the strike and many blame university management for this situation. As the Guardian reported:

A YouGov poll [shows] 61% of students said they supported the strikes; 50% blamed the university employers for the dispute that led to Thursday’s industrial action, 20% thought staff and universities were equally to blame and 2% blamed their lecturers.

But how can you help us exactly? Here are some things you can do. 

 

Social Media

1. Tweet Alistair Jarvis, the head of UUK, and tweet the UUK twitter account, the organisation that represents university management. You can find Alistair Jarvis here: @AlistairJarvis and UUK here: @UniversitiesUK. Try writing your own message, use images or gifs. If you’re stuck, try using some of the following phrases to tell them how you feel:

  • I support #ucustrike @UniversitiesUK should negotiate with UCU to provide a fair defined benefits pension for lecturing staff. @AlistairJarvis, your failure to negotiate productively is affecting my education and I won’t forget that when it comes to the National Student Survey.
  • I support my lecturers in the #ucustrike. @UniversitiesUK and @AlistairJarvis, get back to the negotiating table without preconditions. This strike is about a fair, defined benefits pension and that should be on the table.

 

2. Tweet Sam Gyimah, Member of Parliament and Minister for Universities, Science, Research & Innovation. You can find him here: @SamGyimah. Try writing your own tweet, adapting the information below, perhaps by adding your university’s twitter address:

  • My education is at stake in #ucustrike. @SamGyimah stick to your proposal that @UniversitiesUK negotiate with UCU without pre-conditions. It has to be about the 2017 valuation or it is not about the strike. I will remember your actions when I vote.

 

3. Tweet your university’s senior leadership team. 

At this link you can find a list of the names and email addresses for the key figure in the University senior management team at striking universities. Using this information you should also be able to find a contact on Twitter. Adapt the text below to reflect your views in your tweets to senior leadership.

  • My education is at stake in #ucustrike. Please ask @UniversitiesUK to negotiate with UCU without pre-conditions. Negotiations have to be about the 2017 valuation or it is not about the strike. I will remember your actions during the strike when I complete the NSS.

 

4. Share this page. Share this page with your fellow students so that they know how they can help too. There are sharing buttons at the bottom of the page. And here’s a short url for this page: https://wp.me/P9H7a7-w

5.. Share resources. You can find videos, news articles and other helpful information on this page here. Share them on social media to help your fellow students understand what is happening and keep them informed.

Here are some memes to share and here’s a link to allow you to create your own: https://imgflip.com/memegenerator

Email

 

1. Write to your university senior leadership team.

At this link you can find a list of the email addresses for the key figure in the University senior leadership team at striking universities.

Write your own message or adapt the text below to reflect your views:

I am writing to complain about the effects that the UCU strike is having on my education as I believe this is not fair. I support my lecturers in the strike and want you to do all that you can to bring Universities UK back to the negotiating table to ensure a fair pension for university staff and to end the effects on my education. UUK should negotiate without preconditions, including consideration of keeping the defined benefits scheme, or else the negotiations will not address the key issue that has led to staff striking.

I believe this strike is just the latest episode in a series of problems caused by the marketisation of higher education, such as the huge raises in student fees and the casualisation of the work force.

I will be following your responses to this issue on social media and university communications channels. I will not forget the effects this strike is having when it comes to completing the National Student Survey.

 

2. Write to your local MP. 

You can find out who your local Member of Parliament is here: https://www.writetothem.com/ 

You can also use that tool to send them an email. Try adjusting the following to fit your views:

I am writing to express my concern about the UCU strike regarding pensions and its effects on my education. The strike is affecting my education and I  believe this is not fair. I support my lecturers in the strike and want the government to do all that it can to bring Universities UK back to the negotiating table to ensure a fair pension for university staff and to end the effects on my education. UUK should negotiate without preconditions, including consideration of keeping the defined benefits scheme, or else the negotiations will not address the key issue that has led to staff striking.

I believe this strike is just the latest episode in a series of problems caused by the marketisation of higher education, such as the huge raises in student fees and the casualisation of the work force.

I will be following your responses to this issue on social media and other communications channels and will consider your actions when I next vote.

 

Join In

If you are a PG students, you can (and should!) join UCU. You can join as a student member if you aren’t employed by the University, and as a regular member if you do teach (both are free for PGs). If you are a PG who teaches, you can find out more information via the UCU FAQs here.

Keep up to date with activities around the UK during the strike, including images, stories and videos, here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/USS-action

You can also find out where your lecturers and other staff will be picketing the strikes and go and help them. It is so great when students join us on the pickets. A picket helps show that the strike is happening, keeps it on the media, informs passers-by and disrupts the organisation. Plus, there’s usually some cakes and hot drinks.

You can find out where pickets will be by emailing (or tweeting if they’re on Twitter) your university’s local branch. To find out the email address and website for your local branch, use the search engine here: https://www.ucu.org.uk/yourcontacts

Find the University College Union (UCU) Facebook page for your university by searching for your university’s name and ‘UCU’. Some Facebook pages are really active and will include lists of events you can attend during the strike or important stories and videos.

Strikes will be taking place:

Feb Thurs 22, Fri 23, Mon 26, Tuesday 27 and Wed 28.

March Mon 5, Tues 6, Wed 7, Thurs 8, Mon 12, Tues 13, Wed 14, Thurs 15 and Fri 16.

NB. strike dates are different at King’s, Queen Mary, Edinburgh and Stirling who begin their action in week two on Monday 26 February and then walk out for two days on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 March.

 

 

 

 

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