Lectures cancelled as Southampton University union members strike

STUDENTS at the University of Southampton may miss up to a week of lectures after staff members go on an eight day strike.

The strike started on November 25 and will end on December 4. In this period if the students need any help, they can still e-mail their lecturers.

Not all lectures have been cancelled and the students have had enough warning about the strikes a few days previously, so they have enough time to make plans and organise their time well.

The UCU (University and College Union) say that staff have reached a ‘’breaking point’’. They say there are several issues causing the strikes. Some of the reasons for them are real-terms cuts in pay, a 15% gender pay gap and changes in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), resulting in members paying more and receiving less in retirement.

Not all students are affected by the strikes

Shelley Cobb, UCU representative for University of Southampton says: “It is really important to take a stand [and to] take a strike, just because otherwise this won’t get out and we won’t get listened to. Nice approaches haven’t really worked so at some point you have to stand up for yourselves and stand up for your colleagues.

“It is really important to us that these things change. How we have all across the country have reached a breaking point where we just can’t we can not sustain the workloads that we have got and we are arguably abusing the young PHD students or recent graduates for being  overworked and severely underpaid without security.”

About 43,600 members are expected to be taking strike action for ‘’systemic change’’.

Staff at the University of Southampton are among many to strike

Staff in pre-1992 universities, which are members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme are the ones affected by the strikes. There are many reasons for this, including pensions, pay and conditions. Another 14 institutions are striking, but only over pay and conditions.

A total of 43 universities around the UK are affected by the strikes.

There have previously been strikes in February and March in the last academic year, which means some students have been affected twice.

A psychology student from the University of Southampton explains how the strikes are going to affect her studies:

by Annabel Tinson (TinsonAnnabel), Rhiannon Rae (@RhiannonJourna1) and Zornitsa Voutckova (@zornitsaav),