Industrial action email from DVC: Student Education to all taught students - 12 November 2019

The below email was sent on 12 November 2019

Dear student,

As you are probably aware, some colleagues at the University are planning to participate in nationwide industrial action as part of a national dispute about pensions and pay. I want to reassure you that the University's number one priority will be to minimise any disruption this may cause to your education.

We know that there will be a strike from 25 November for eight consecutive working days up to and including 4 December, and that action short of a strike will take place from 25 November up to no later than 29 April 2020. You can read more about this on the students’ website industrial action page.

The scale of likely disruption is far from clear, given that only a minority of our academic, professional and managerial staff are members of the University and College Union (UCU), which has called the strike, and not all of them support this action. Some may decide not to strike at all and some may not strike on all eight days.

We are planning for every eventuality and are committed to ensuring you are not disadvantaged academically as a result of the strike. You should turn up for all your scheduled activities unless you know for sure they have been cancelled. We will do everything we can to recover learning opportunities that you may have missed because of the industrial action.

I appreciate that many of you will be concerned by these events, and it may be useful to say something about the context. 

We recognise that staff have strongly felt concerns about their pensions and pay. The pensions issue relates to reform of the USS pension scheme, which many of our staff are members of. The University supports arrangements introduced from last month that protect current pension benefits and place a cap on contributions until September 2021.  Importantly this allows time to find a long term solution to resolving the deficit that the pension scheme faces.

As with pensions, pay arrangements are handled at a national level and individual universities are not involved in the negotiations.

You can read the information we share with colleagues on our For Staff site, about:

I would encourage you to regularly check our news page on the students’ website which we will update with general information and further guidance as and when it becomes available. We’ll also keep you informed through our fortnightly Life at Leeds student newsletter. If you have questions about the impact on your individual timetable, your school should be able to advise you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Best wishes,

Professor Tom Ward

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education