11th March 2020

Strikes: Your Questions Answered

Over the past week our SU President, Education Officer and Welfare Officer have been collecting your urgent questions about the strike, to get answers from the University senior leaders and the UCU.

Here's what they said:

You asked...'When will we receieve compensation due to the strike action?'

The University senior leaders said...

That they won't be considering a proactive compensation scheme. They’re sticking with what they said on their FAQs - “As the present industrial action arises out of matters which are beyond the University’s reasonable control, it is not obliged to compensate its students in circumstances where it takes all reasonable steps to minimise the potential disruption to those students.”

View the University FAQs

Our Officers: We’re pushing for students to receive compensation. So if you have experienced genuine disruption to your studies, you should file a complaint and request for compensation.

You can do that by filling in this form

You asked...'What is the University doing with the money they're not paying lecturers?'

The University senior leaders said...

They are keeping the strike fund in departments. The University has also committed to simplifying communications to students on this.

Our Officers: We think you should find out where this money is. Contact your departmental head to ask 1. How much money is there? 2. How is it being spent?

You asked...'What will happen with our assessments and exams?'

The University senior leaders said...

They say they're contacting all exam boards. They have published an FAQ on this

Our Officers: We think if you have any questions on this, it’s best to speak to your departmental head (they might be on strike until Monday).

You asked...'Can the recovery plans be public?'

The University senior leaders said...

Recovery plans will be created after the strike in order to be accurate, and each student will be communicated to individually on their recovery plan.

Our Officers: We think if you have any questions on this, it’s best to speak to your departmental head (they might be on strike until Monday). If you can’t get answers, email the SU at strike.advice@sheffield.ac.uk for advice.

You asked...'How will course accreditation be affected?'

The University senior leaders said...

They're not concerned about this. Professional bodies are being informed, and as we’re not the only university affected by the strikes there’s little concern that it will impact course accreditation.

You asked...'What's the Vice Chancellor doing nationally to help resolve the dispute?'

The University senior leaders said...

That they won't reveal his position, as they believe it could jeopardise the collective bargaining position. He has committed to making a statement to students about this topic.

You asked...'Does the UCU even care about students?'

UCU said...

The UCU cares deeply about students and is united with the NUS to improve staff working conditions and student learning conditions. Representatives also expressed their gratitude for student solidarity, and that many of its members are also students of the institutions they work for.

You asked...'What will the UCU do if they don't get the resolution they want, will they just keep striking?'

UCU said...

The UCU said strike action of recent years has been a last resort coming after a decade of neglect from employers. Representatives also said that long-term solutions are needed, and that on Monday they will be balloting members for potential future industrial action.

If your studies have been genuinely disrupted and want to file a complaint and request for compensation, fill in this form

If you need specific advice on your individual circumstances, on anything that hasn't been sufficiently answered by the University's FAQs you can email the SU at strike.advice@sheffield.ac.uk

Please note that due to the impact of coronavirus on the Student Advice Centre service we have currently paused this work. Students retain the right to complain up to 6 months following their graduation, so we will resume this support work again in the near future.

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