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UCU industrial action – joint statement

25 Nov 2019

A joint statement from The University of Manchester Students’ Union and the University

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester Students’ Union Executive Team and The University of Manchester Senior Leadership team hold regular meetings to ensure the voices of students are heard consistently around a whole range of issues. Recent discussions have been focused on the forthcoming UCU industrial action.

While the University and the Students’ Union do not agree on every aspect of the current situation, we stand together in our determination to ensure that the impact on current students is minimised.

Many students will never have experienced industrial action, and so clear communication is important throughout this period of uncertainty, hence this joint communication. We will continue to discuss the impacts of prolonged industrial action to make sure that students’ voices and opinions are heard at the highest level of the University and treated with the urgency they require. We will provide further updates on those discussions to keep communication and our stances clear, and will continue to work together wherever possible.

The Students’ Union and the University have confirmed the following principles for the upcoming strike action from Monday, 25 November to Wednesday, 4 December 2019:

  1. Our key priority is that the industrial action will not prevent students from graduating or progressing to the next academic year, and we are committed to taking actions separately and together to ensure it does not do so;
  2. Where possible (and subject to awarding body requirements), no student will be assessed on teaching content missed during the strike action, unless that content is made up in an accessible way;
  3. The University has re-confirmed that it will not benefit financially from the strikes. The money withheld from staff salaries will be reinvested into benefiting students in the following areas:
    • Additional investment into disability and student support services
    • Additional funding for scholarships for financially disadvantaged students
    • A series of student-led sustainability initiatives
  4. The University and the Students’ Union leadership will reconvene to relook at these principles if the strike goes beyond the stipulated date above.

We want to assure you of our commitment to ensuring that students are not unfairly disadvantaged by the strike action.  If any student remains dissatisfied, there are established appeal and complaint procedures that your School or the Students’ Union advice centre can advise you on. Model documents for this are available on the Students’ Union website, and there are also FAQs which will continue to be updated on MyManchester.

Kwame Kwarteng, General Secretary, University of Manchester Students’ Union

Professor April McMahon, Vice President (Teaching, Learning and Students), The University of Manchester

Further information

For more information, visit: