Origami Bullets
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#1
Has anyone else heard about the marking strike? It's starting on April 28th, and affects almost all unis in the UK.

It's happening because university staff have only been offered a 1% pay rise, which is less than inflation, so it's basically a pay cut. This has been going on for several years, and it now works out as a 13% pay cut. At the same time, university bosses have had an average 5.1% pay rise :erm:

I know they don't really want to do it - they've been doing one day strikes all year, but the universities are refusing to budge :sadnod: It's not like the lecturers are doing it for fun either - they'll lose anything up to 100% of their pay.

So, they've given the universities 10 weeks notice, and if management don't get their act together some of us (me!) won't be graduating on time, which sucks. At least, though, we'll still be able to get all of our coursework in and sit the exams rather than having to faff around waiting for new exam dates.

I'm a bit conflicted over the whole thing - I think lecturers should be paid more (some, especially PhD seminar takers, are paid less than minimum wage, for instance), but on the flip side I want to graduate on time What do other people think?
0
reply
-aimz
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#2
Report 7 years ago
#2
I know, our lecturer mentioned this yesterday - all my final assignments (plus dissertation) are due on 13th May, so I'm hoping they sort something out by the end of that month at least. I empathise with their issue, but could they not choose a less inconvenient time to do the strike? All it will do is upset students, myself included.
0
reply
greeneyedgirl
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 7 years ago
#3
Tbh I do get where they're coming from and as a hopeful future lecturer myself I can very much empathise. However at the same time I'm supposed be graduating at the end of June, and supposed to have my marks back by mid June and I'd very much like that timetable to go ahead. What frustrates me is not so much not finding out, cos while I'm impatient I can deal with it, it's the fact that for many of me and my friends we have jobs or postgraduate study waiting on these results, and the possibility of having delayed results could mean us being unable to accept these and stuff which I think is bad. Plus it's not us students who are negatively impacting the lecturers, so it annoys me that we're being punished when it's the management of uni who are doing the bad things.
0
reply
Joshalos
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#4
Report 7 years ago
#4
Whilst they need to make a strike meaningful with a big impact, I think it is totally unfair that they are doing it in a way which will affect students directly. Whilst some may sympathise with the cause and argue that not getting a pay rise will impact on students education anyway, to do it in such a way as this suggests that they aren't concerned about the impact on students in the first place. Regardless of their pay, this does not affect their ability to teach students - they aren't driven on money, whether they had what they earn now or three times as much, their ability will not increase or decrease at helping students learn. It is involving students in a way which they should not be involved.
1
reply
redferry
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 years ago
#5
You have to stand with the lecturers on this, their pay is abysmal for the hours they put in while those of the top are paid ridiculous sums. I am fully with them and would be well prepared to graduate late if it secured them better working conditions.
0
reply
Asclepius1
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#6
Report 7 years ago
#6
I am a student and will be affected by this, but I fully support academic staff, lecturers etc in their actions.

The way managers in UK universities have been acting is atrocious - record-breaking pay rises for themselves whilst the academics and lecturers who actually do the work are penalised year after year (not to mention the introduction of 'Zero-hour contracts'). This is nothing short of an attempt to casualise and deprofessionalise academics in the UK.

Considering the UK's strong history as a leader in education, research and innovation, it is appalling that those responsible for that great reputation i.e. the lecturers and researchers, are being undermined by managers who make little or no contribution to the daily lives of students.

Another thing to remember is that the right to strike/withdraw labour, was a hard-won right to protect workers from exploitation. Considering recent developments in the economy, many students will be entering professions/jobs where they may need to call strike action themselves to protect their terms and conditions in future - we may be in the same situation in the future that the academics face now - I hope we receive more sympathy if/when that time comes
0
reply
Ruffiio
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#7
Report 7 years ago
#7
It's been a long time in the waiting, this should of been the action taken a long time ago. It's simple, easy, and gets the job done. Striking outside a building with 5 people with pickets does absolutely nothing, no one cares about 5 measly people outside with pickets, maybe if it was a few hundred or thousand then yes because you would actually be noticed and make an impact. This isn't 1945+ when thousands of people went on strike due to low wages and it was powerful enough to bring down government and people in authority were actually scared of them so had to keep them on side. Striking is futile now unless you can get a massive gathering, the only way you're going to get down the negotiating table is if you take firm action and stop marking students work, even if it is unfortunately at the disadvantage of students.
0
reply
SlowlorisIncognito
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#8
Report 7 years ago
#8
Haven't heard anything about this :O On the other hand, atm, I have only 2 hours contact time a week because I didn't organise my third year modules very sensibly.

Given my hopeful summer plans, I'm not tooo worried about graduating on time but I feel really sorry for everyone aiming for post-grad education and grad schemes where they will need to know their results. I support everyone's right to strike however they chose, but I wonder if they couldn't have chosen a different form of protest. I do think this will result in negative press, and not keeping students onside. Meanwhile, it won't really impact on their own careers. Whereas, if they had chosen to stop another area of work e.g. research (I accept this could be difficult because of grant funding etc) it would still hurt the university bosses (maybe more so) but would have less of an impact on students.

A 17% pay cut in real terms is a lot, and I do think that's unfair. I think it's also very hard, because the university in my city is one of the biggest employers, and in a way, I would rather they kept a cap on top lecturers pay than cut jobs from admin staff etc who might find it hard to get jobs elsewhere. They are also investing in building projects which will be useful for research which is again generating jobs in the region.

I think the exploitation of PhD students is a seperate issue, and one that will not actually be addressed by this strike. My university has a commitment to the majority of teaching being done by well paid staff- the lowest pay-grade who have a proper teaching load are senior technicians who often lead labs. They are not that well paid compared to lecturers, but are at least paid a decent wage above the national average. PostDocs and PhD students will occassionally cover for lecturers, or give lecturers on their own research, but aren't asked to take on lots of teaching responsibilities, which is good. I feel that some top universities have more of a problem with making PhD students do what is probably an unfair amount of teaching.

I know I am being selfish in feeling conflicted about this, but I do think that lecturers do need to seriously consider the impact this strike will have on their graduating students. I think a lot of them may end up breaking the strike anyway- I know many have broken the one day strikes at my university.
0
reply
SlowlorisIncognito
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
Sorry for the double post, but does anyone know what would happen with JSA? I'm not sure entirely how it works, as I know you can claim it once your course has ended- would that be graduation then? If this strike did drag on and delay graduation, it could potentially leave vulnerable students in financial hardship.

Also, if exams are unmarked, what will happen with retakes etc?

I feel that by striking over the summer, the lecturers could cause some very serious problems for universities and students (obviously to an extent this is their aim).
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should the school day be extended to help students catch up?

Yes (96)
27.51%
No (253)
72.49%

Watched Threads

View All