Following votes by the University and College Union (UCU), strikes took place on campus from the 25th November to the 4th December. Reading was among the 60 affected universities.
At our University, there are approximately 700 members of the UCU, with a third of them estimated to have striked. This makes up just over 16% of the total staff employed.
Members took part in the strike due to disputes over pay and pension contributions which they were unable to sort with the University directly.
Following changes to the pension scheme, members suggested that pension contributions should be over 26% of annual salary, with various options of how this could be achieved.
The university responded, with the conclusion that this would not be affordable and is an unrealistic request.
Disputes with pay were also seen following the annual national pay bargaining process, which determines pay increases for staff for the following year. The pay increase was set to be between 3.65% and 1.8%, depending on the job role.
So, what happens now?
Each school was affected differently by the strike. As part of the industrial action, members who chose to strike have said they will stick to their contracted hours and, in other words, will not make up for missed timetabled hours.
The university has asked that members of staff will make up for the missed content, however, this may vary hugely between schools.
If you had lectures cancelled, there is a form that you can fill out on the University’s website. Many schools will not test on content that was missed due to strike. However, if you feel that your exams have been impacted by the strikes, there is a form to fill out on the university’s website. This will enable your department to make adjustments.
Many students had assignments set which ran throughout the strike period. If your assignments or coursework has been negatively affected by the strike, adjustments can also be made.
These forms can be found at https://student.reading.ac.uk/essentials/_the-important-stuff/industrial-action-2019.aspx