In-depth negotiations are ongoing nationally regarding the strikes in the meantime in the interests of an outcome that ends the dispute. As a single institution we have limited influence over decisions taken on the issues under dispute - however this current period of detailed discussion is a positive sign and we urge all parties involved in the negotiations to use it to reach common ground.
In the meantime we are making sure we have plans in place to help students progress if the dispute carries on into the exam term.
Background to the strikes
We all want to work in a sector where staff are well rewarded for their hard work, but the same cost of living squeeze felt by people across the country also has an impact on our university finances too. Our hope is that through ongoing discussion an agreement can be reached that suits all parties and prevents unwelcome disruption to students.
What industrial action is currently planned?
In the current period of action, UCU members will be taking continuous action short of a strike, consisting of; working to contract; not undertaking any voluntary activities; not covering for absent colleagues; removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action; not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action; and undertaking a marking and assessment boycott.
What will this mean for students?
The impact of industrial action can vary and is likely to be different in different areas; not all staff are UCU members and not all members take part in action. However, it is likely that marking for some exams and course work may be delayed (or otherwise impacted) and our priority will be doing all we can to mitigate the impact on students.
We will be communicating with students regularly throughout, including setting out our principles in how we respond to industrial action.
What are we doing about it at Kent?
While negotiations take place nationally, the issues being discussed are important and by working together we have made progress in a number of areas locally.
This includes strengthening the work we have done to reduce the use of casual contracts at Kent, a 10% increase in the annual stipend for PHD scholarships, and a commitment to no compulsory redundancies as a result of current reviews underway at the University.