Students’ Union UCL to support UCU strikes after record-breaking turnout at referendum

Almost 3,000 students voted for strike actions

Students’ Union UCL will be supporting all UCU strike action in 2022 after almost 3,000 students voted in favour of it.

Between 21 to 26 January, 5,116 students voted in what the SU described as “the largest referendum we’ve ever held.” The event came after controversy over the lack of student participation in the SU’s previous stance to not support strikes in 2021.

UCU is expected to hold strikes again in February and March, as “time is running out” for change after they’ve made efforts like holding meetings with uni employers.

Staff on strike in December 2021

A Students’ Union UCL representative described the referendum as an effort towards making “our democratic procedures more open and accessible, creating new bye-laws, including a new bye-law on referenda.

“This is the first time the referenda bye-law has been put to work and the huge turnout is a brilliant example of students getting their voices heard through their Students’ Union.”

With “a clear majority” of 60 per cent voting in support, the SU will now join other London SUs to support UCU’s Four Fights campaign against decreasing wage value and pensions.

According to UCU statistics, “staff have seen a 20 per cent real-term pay cut over the past 12 years, and many face a cost of living crisis with inflation and energy price rises.” As a result, the union is demanding a £2.5k pay increase, more manageable workloads, as well as equal pay and secure contracts for all staff. A lack of response to their demands from uni authorities has led to the possibility of the union holding strike actions again in February and March.

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