Students seek uni strike compensation

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University of Liverpool main campus. Pic © Michael Stokes, JMU Journalism

Thousands of University of Liverpool students are demanding compensation for missed classes when lecturers go on strike.

Petition organisers have calculated that students are set to lose around £1,000 in ‘lost’ tuition fee during 14 days of planned walk-outs.

Staff at the University of Liverpool are set to take industrial action during a four-week period following concerns over changes to their pensions.

It has been confirmed that 61 universities across the United Kingdom are set to take part in a series of strikes, although this does not include Liverpool John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University.

The petition, which has more than 6,000 signatures, is asking for a certain amount to be deducted from tuition fees as a consequence of the dispute.

It states: “We, the students of the University of Liverpool, feel that it is fair and just that we are compensated for the loss of 14 days of our education. Mathematically, the equates to exactly £1079.16 (24 weeks x 5 days = 120 days. Each day costs roughly £77,083) and this should be deducted from our tuition fees.”

Lecturers claim that some will be left almost £10,000 a year worse off in retirement under their new pension scheme in comparison to the current set-up.

University and College Union general secretary, Sally Hunt, told JMU Journalism: “Students are understandably worried about what may happen, and angry that their universities appear to be doing absolutely nothing to avert the most disruptive strike action ever seen on UK campuses.

“Anything that focuses universities’ minds, even at this late stage, is to be welcomed. Any vice-chancellors who, like us, want to avoid the disruption should be demonstrating to their students exactly what they are doing to try and resolve the dispute.

YouTube: Michael Stokes

“We would encourage every student to get in touch with their vice-chancellor and ask exactly what they are doing to try and bring the dispute to an end.”

A University of Liverpool spokesperson told JMU Journalism: “The university is committed to maintaining the quality of our students’ learning experience throughout the planned industrial action. Not all members of staff will take part in the strike and many teaching sessions will go ahead as planned.

“Where teaching sessions are cancelled on strike days, students will be provided with alternative learning materials and supervisory support so that they can achieve all intended learning outcomes. The University will therefore not be issuing refunds.”

The dates of the planned industrial action are as follows: February 22, 23, 26, 27, 28; March 5, 6, 7 ,8, 12-16.

About Michael Stokes, JMU Journalism