There seems to be an increasing amount of strikes every month so, with students having their contact time affected, are the strikes really fair on us?
It is fair that any worker should have the right to be part of a union in order for their rights and needs to be met in the workplace; however, with the recent rise in university fees, students really should be able to access as much contact time as possible. The continuous row over pay has resulted in a number of strikes by many university lecturers and hence has resulted in various cancellations of lectures and seminars.
However, despite these cancellations, lecturers are doing their best to make the time up by altering the times of seminars, giving students the chance to attend on an alternative day, or even prerecording lectures so that we don’t actually miss out. Although this won’t work quite the same as things just running normally, at least we’re being given the opportunity to make up our contact time in other ways. Unfortunately though, strikes often seem to take place on Thursdays and so the same lectures are often affected, as opposed to them being more spread out across different days of the week. Furthermore, it is also not always possible to reschedule a seminar.
More generically, UNISON members are striking over the 1% pay rise which is thus affecting students everywhere, not just in Loughborough. In all fairness, this 1% increase is not in line with the rising costs of living. There were even threats to stop the marking of exams, close libraries, and halt other services in some universities. The closure of libraries seems a little extreme as this limits the continuation of study during the strikes, which is rather unfair. However, Pilkington appears to be running as normal, so let’s hope we can continue reasonably unaffected!