Unions have agreed to suspend strike action planned for the next two weeks. Classes will therefore proceed as planned for the weeks beginning Monday 20 and Monday 27 February.
Unions have agreed to suspend strike action planned for the next two weeks. Classes will therefore proceed as planned for the weeks beginning Monday 20 and Monday 27 February. The university has updated all students and staff by email and will provide further updates when they have them. For more information please visit: www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/student.../industrial-action.
Industrial strike action will be taking place at Leeds Beckett University and many other universities across the UK on the dates outlined here. The strike action is being taken by some university staff who are members of two unions recognised by Leeds Beckett University, Unison and UCU.
Unison primarily represent professional and support staff, while UCU represent mainly academic and teaching staff. The strike action is in response to ongoing disputes over pay and conditions, following the breakdown of the national collective bargaining process which ended without resolution in 2022.
As a Students’ Union that represents over 25,000 students at Leeds Beckett, our primary charitable responsibility is to students’ education and this always has to be our main focus. With this in mind, we are asking the University to do everything it can to minimise any disruption that might occur as a result of the industrial action.
At the same time we would also like to state our support and solidarity with those staff who have taken the difficult decision to strike in their fight for better pay and conditions. We believe that the working conditions of university staff reflect directly on the experience of our students, and to that end we are fully behind the principles leading to the planned action.
The University has released information for students about the strikes, including FAQs, which you can find here. The recommendation of the University is that students should assume their timetables and studies will continue as normal – however we feel it is important that students are aware of the likelihood of some disruption before they take the decision to attend campus on strike days.
Below we have outlined some answers to common questions around industrial action and what it might mean for students. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to let us know using the link below.
What is industrial action?
Industrial action is a general term for actions taken by members of a trade union in protest against their employer. The most common form of action is to go on strike, which is often the last resort after negotiations have failed. A strike is when workers refuse to continue working because of an argument with an employer about working conditions, pay levels, or job losses. Staff who are on strike will not get paid for the duration of the industrial action.
Why are some staff going on strike?
What is a picket line?
A picket line is a form of protest, which involves workers establishing a boundary, often at the entrance to their place of work, which other people are asked not to cross. You may be asked by workers on strike not to cross picket lines established in front of University buildings. You should not be physically prevented from entering a building with a picket line, and there is official guidance on picket line behaviour. You may want to take the opportunity to speak to staff on picket lines to find out more information about the strike.
How might the strikes affect students?
Strikes aim to influence decision-makers in the University – they are not aimed at making a negative impact on students. However, because this industrial action is likely to involve both teaching and support staff, it is likely that some impact that will be felt by students. This could mean things like last minute cancellation of lectures and seminars, less staff being available in the libraries, or cancellation of appointments with University advice and support services.
Will our Students’ Union still be open?
Yes – we are a separate entity to the University and our staff are not on strike. All of our services, spaces, activities and opportunities will be running as normal through the strike action and will be available for you to access regardless of your feelings about the strike.
LBSU Officer Team x