A statement from your Full-Time Elected Officers.
UPDATE 25th Nov:
EGM MOTION PASSED
At our Emergency General Meeting (EGM) Keele students have voted on the following motion:
Keele SU should:
• Lobby for appropriate academic mitigations in response to strike action
• Stand in solidarity with Keele UCU and collaborate with them during the strike period
Tonight (25th Nov) in our EGM students have voted to pass this motion. This means our Elected Officers will be working with Keele UCU to support them during this strike period while ensuring students receive the support they need from the university to avoid any negative impact where possible.
Original Statement from 22nd November:
In recent weeks, members of one of the trade-unions on campus, University and College Union (UCU), successfully voted to strike over pensions and pay. It was announced on Tuesday 16th that strike action will take place over three days from 1st-3rd December followed by action short of strike (ASOS) until May 2022.
Fundamentally as your Elected Officers it is our responsibility to ensure your student experience faces as little impact as possible from scenarios such as this. That is why we have proactively been meeting with both Keele UCU and senior management within the university to better understand the situation. Our underlying message at every meeting has been our priority to our members – to you.
Therefore, all students are invited to an Emergency General Meeting on Thursday 25th November at 6pm on Microsoft Teams (Join here). In the meeting you can inform and direct our response to this industrial action. In the meeting there will be opportunity for discussions, and there will be a vote on Keele SU’s stance on the industrial action.
As a union ourselves, we will always uphold the right to strike; we also acknowledge the right to fair pay, acceptable working conditions, and a secure retirement. Well supported staff will lead to well supported students. Some of our members are postgraduate students who find themselves facing a lifetime of uncertainty and challenge due to the very circumstances UCU are striking against.
We are however all too conscious of the context in which other students find themselves – having gone through two years of COVID disruption, they currently find themselves exhausted.
We will continue to meet with both UCU and the University and encourage them to push for national negotiations to resume. We will be here for any student over the coming weeks who may have questions or concerns regarding this news.
Let us know your thoughts on the strikes HERE
Strike: A strike is a period of time where employees decide not to come into work in protest about a particular aspect about their employment. They do not get paid whilst on strike.
ASOS: Action short of strike refers to a period of time where employees work strictly to the letter of their contract, refusing to take up additional responsibilities which often come voluntarily.
Pension: A pension is effectively “deferred pay”. Each month, employees pay some of their salary into a ‘pot’ that they can access and live on when they retire.
Working Conditions: In this case, UCU’s referral to working conditions concerns the gender pay gap, workload and casualisation (the transformation of a workforce from largely employed on secure permanent contracts to short-term or casual contracts)