Industrial Strike Action: Guidance for Students + GSA Response

Industrial Action at the University of York

Members of UCU (a Trade Union for academic staff) have voted to take industrial action on pay, pensions and working conditions. UCU have announced eight days of strikes will get underway from Monday 25th November to Wednesday 4th December. At this stage, it is hard to say exactly how University of York students will be affected.

The GSA respects the democratic rights of academic staff to make their voices heard and take strike action. Our President and Vice-Presidents recognise that this is an important issue for staff, and that they will not have taken the decision to back strike action lightly. Equally, industrial action creates tensions for our postgraduates – we know that many students will be concerned about the potential for disruption to their teaching and learning over the remainder of the term. This is a particularly polarising issue for postgraduate students, with over 50% of our population being international students who have paid a significant amount of money for study, while another portion of our students are Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) rightly want to support their colleagues to ensure their rights as paid employees of the University are protected.

GSA Position on Strike Action

In the coming days, the GSA Council will be meeting to consider students views and concerns and how students’ want the GSA to best represent them. We understand that we have a very politically varied student population; students may request us to both condemn and support the strikes, therefore we have to carefully consider a wide variety of viewpoints before taking a public stance.

Alongside this, the GSA along with YUSU will be lobbying the University to ensure that the adverse impact of the strike on students is limited. We’ll be working to ensure that students’ questions are answered and helping students to get a clear understanding of their rights, should their education be disrupted.

How to complain to the University

Information about making a complaint to the University can be found here. If you require assistance in making a complaint you can contact our Advice Service

Unhappy with the University’s response to a complaint?

There is further guidence about the strike action and how to take a complaint further on the OFS Website

Action to take now

Keep an eye out for updates – Look out for messages from your Department. They will be in touch to let you know of any changes to timetabled activity.

For specific concerns or questions – contact your Department in the first instance.

Find out more about the issues – Keep an eye on this page for updates on key announcements, FAQs and links to events that the GSA will be organising to help you find out more info on the issues behind industrial action.

15th November 2019