Swansea Lecturers Say “No” to Strikes

By Megan Thomas

The lecturers at Swansea University will not be going on strike. After the initial vote failed to hit the 50% turnout requirement, the lecturers in the University and College Union (UCU) were reballotted, voting closed on the 16th February 2018.
The turnout was 48%, fewer people than the initial vote and therefore again failing to hit the 50% requirement. The UCU website has confirmed that no strike action will be taken in
Swansea, there seems to be no indication that there will be another reballot.
What does this mean for Swansea students? Honestly, very little. It means that lectures, exams and assessments will carry on as usual, your degree itself should not be impacted by the strike action by the UCU.

The strikes by lecturers from Universities such as Cardiff, Bristol and Liverpool, began after the Government announced changes to lecturers pensions. Changes to the current Universities Superannuation Scheme, is said to potentially cost lecturers up to £200,000 over their retirement. Under the new rules, guaranteed pension benefits would end. The UCU say that this means that these benefits are decided upon “how your ‘investments’ perform” as opposed to them being on “contribution”. The UCU has said that they are open to talks.

Strike action is said to begin on the 22nd February. Although initial plans were for these strikes to last for 2 months, recently plans have been announced to keep the strikes going for as long as 5 months. This means that final year exams may potentially be cancelled and graduation will likely be affected.

There has been calls from students to receive compensation from Universities for hours missed due to the strikes. Students at Universities such as Liverpool and Bristol are attempting to claim back for the missed hours, considering that the average student is paying £9,250 a year in tuition fees for these hours. As of the writing of this article, no student is set to receive compensation.

As our lecturers will not be going on strike, it is unlikely that these strikes will affect graduation here. If you still want to support these strikes, the closest Universities taking action are: Cardiff University, Bristol University and the University of Wales.


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