Following a decision made by the University and College Union (UCU) to take industrial action over pay and working conditions, it has been confirmed that strikes will be taking place at the Uni of Herts later this month. For the full details about the industrial action, please head to Ask Herts here. For details about your student rights and how to access support during this unsettling period, please read on below.
What do we know?
University of Hertfordshire staff who are members of UCU will be taking industrial action from Wednesday 23rd November. In addition to 'continuous action short of a strike' on Wednesday 23rd, there will be strike days on Thursday 24th, Friday 25th and Wednesday 30th November. Staff that are members of UCU will not work on the strike days which could result in some cancelled classes. 'Continuous action short of a strike' means that staff may limit the work they undertake on other days covered by the action.
The University is working to minimise the impact of the industrial strikes on the student experience. They have confirmed they will remain open during this time, with spaces and services like the Learning Resources Centres (LRCs), cafes and student wellbeing operating as normal. Students are expected to continue to attend classes and complete assignments unless they are advised otherwise.
You can view the University's FAQs here.
What are your rights as students?
Have you been told your course will be affected by the industrial action? Read on to find out more about your rights as a student.
All students have a contractual relationship with the University, meaning you're protected by consumer protection law. This means they must make every effort to continue to offer the service they've promised to students, even during periods of industrial action. They essentially need to reduce the impact of strikes as much as possible.
The University should:
- 1. Be proactive in resolving issues related to missed teaching. If teaching time is lost, it may be appropriate for catch up teaching to be offered at a later time, missed course content to be delivered in a different way, or for partial refunds to be offered to affected students
- 2. Take steps to ensure that students are not disadvantaged in assessment by any disruption. It might be appropriate for coursework deadlines to be extended or moved, or for certain topics to not be examined if they have not been delivered in time
- 3. Explain clearly any changes made to how the course is delivered and how they will affect students. Students should be informed of the impact of ongoing disruption and given reasonable notice of any new arrangements
- 4. Consider the needs of all students, particularly those who may be more affected than others, or may have difficulties accessing replacement learning
What support is available to you?
If you're worried about how this will impact your academic experience, or if you feel you have a cause for complaint following an instance where the University has not adhered to your aforementioned student rights, you can contact our Advice & Support team. Our Advice & Support team offers free, confidential and impartial advice & support on a wide range of issues. They will be able to provide study advice or support you through a formal complaints process. You can reach Advice & Support here.