Amidst the second UCU lecturer strike in four months, SUSU have held an urgent all-student vote on whether to support the industrial action or not. While none of the three options won an overall majority of 50%, results show that a combined number of 63% of students rejected the idea of SUSU supporting the strike action whilst 72% of students voted in favour of SUSU supporting the cause.
2,541 students voted on the ballot which included the following three options: a) ‘I would like SUSU to support the cause and the action‘, b) ‘I would like SUSU to support the cause but not the action‘, and c) ‘I do not want SUSU to support the cause or the action‘.
The first option, to support both the cause and the action, received 37% of votes, while support for the cause but not the industrial walk-outs gained the votes of 35% of participating students. 28% rejected both the cause and the action.
In a statement on their website blog, SUSU has claimed that the results have ‘given us a clear mandate to support the strike action’.
Due to the fact that the second option (to support the cause but not the action) was deemed the ‘common denominator‘ for both support options, SUSU will implement the following actions:
- Provide space for UCU teach outs and other activity.
- Share information and communication in support of the strikes and on behalf of UCU.
- Lobby the University in support of the strikes.
Consequently, because SUSU will be supporting the second option (despite it not being the most popular-voted option), SUSU will not:
- Withdraw Sabbatical Officers from University meetings.
- Attend the picket lines during working hours.
In November’s SUSU Annual General Meeting, students voted to support strike action by 179 votes to 80.
The dates of the upcoming four-week strike action by UCU members are as follows:
- Week one: Thursday 20th and Friday 21st February
- Week two: Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th February
- Week three: Monday 2nd March, Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March
- Week four: Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th and Friday 13th March.