GSA Student Council Statement on Industrial Action: 13/02/20

The GSA Student Council met on the 3rd of February in order to discuss our position on the forthcoming industrial action.

We would like to communicate that we have decided to reiterate our decision from November 2019 to support the staff members at the University of York.

As declared in the previous statements, the GSA Council considers that the staff dispute to address falling standards of living, pay equality, precarious employment practices, and unsafe workloads are reasonable demands that should be addressed.

We are reaffirming our previous position of support as the main characteristics of the dispute continues to focus on casualisation in higher education and gender and ethnicity pay gap. As before, we recognise that most of our postgraduate students evaluate the possibility to pursue an academic position professionally and that this issue will affect those students in the future.

During the last period of industrial action, the GSA was involved in conversations with University members and UCU in order to provide insight into the particular conditions that GTA’s are experiencing.  We would like to see further dialogues taken place between UCU members and University leaders to work onwards how to minimise the impact of industrial action on students, staff, their families, and the community.

The GSA Council will continue to monitor the situation in order to prioritise our student wellbeing and to communicate any development to the students we represent.

Please be aware that, while the GSA Council would like to show their support to UCU members, GSA staff and services in the GSA will remain impartial to the dispute, offering independent advice services and support to any student that would like to approach us.

How are we going to support the strike?

– The GSA is organising additional on-campus study and wellbeing space for students to take a break and relax when their lectures are disrupted. The rooms available will be announced on our webpage and social media. Tea and coffee will be available from 10:00 to 16:00 every day of the strike.

– If it would be helpful to discuss any aspect of industrial action, we will be available at the GSA office in Vanbrugh College.  – The GSA Sabbatical Officers will organise drop-ins in departments in order to gather students feedback on industrial action. The departments and times available will be announced on our webpage and social media.

– The GSA commits to informing students on the developments of the dispute via social media and via the newsletter.

– The GSA Sabbatical Team is in regular communication with the University around their actions to minimise the impact of the strike on students. We will ensure that students are aware of actions taken and who they should contact if their education is disrupted, and we will continue to monitor the effect of the strike on the students we represent. Information on this can be found on our website.

– The GSA Student Council would like to support students who want to show solidarity on the industrial action by sharing the relevant materials and information on teach-outs and other activities.

– The GSA Student Council would like to stand in solidarity with UCU members who are striking at the University of York by attending the picket lines and providing hot beverages to those who are striking.

– The GSA welcomes feedback from graduate students on their thoughts on industrial action. You can contact us at

For further  information, please refer to previous communications:

GSA Statement in Support of Industrial Action (22nd November 2019):

GSA Statement in Support of Industrial Action

GSA Student Council Blog – Industrial Action (25th November 2019):

GSA Student Council Blog – Industrial Action

FaQ on Industrial Action:

Industrial Strike Action Guidance


GSA Student Council

13th February 2020