A petition for compensation for the strikes has reached over 1500 signatures

It was started by a student


Emily Johnson, a Newcastle Uni 3rd Year Law student has started a petition calling for compensation for missed teaching during the upcoming strikes.

The petition has now reached over 1,500 signatures, and you can sign it yourself here.

The strike action which is set to start next week is set to have an impact students again, with a 74 universities taking part, including Newcastle.

Students up and down the country are now demanding financial reimbursement – as a result, the University of Sussex is offering students up to £100 in compensation.

Emily has started the change.org petition to urge Newcastle university to repay students in the same way.

Speaking to The Newcastle Tab, Emily told us that she thinks that the only way change will happen is if students take action.

She said: "The petition was created as a way of allowing students to come together to demand industrial action and its affects on students to be taken seriously. The dispute between the UCU and the universities has gone on for too long and too much teaching time has been and will be lost, especially at crucial stages of the academic year.

"It seems as though strike action is achieving very little, which is no surprise when it is the students who are suffering the most. Universities are a business. The only way strike action will be taken seriously is if they are forced to financially compensate all students who are taking the direct hit. Until then strike action is simply a cost saving mechanism, as the University does not pay staff who strike.

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"There is no wonder that the dispute between universities and the UCU has spanned across three years – the entire time I have been at the University. Industrial action needs to have an impact on University senior management rather than just the student body."

The description of the petition states that there should be a strategy behind the compensation.

Emily suggests that: "The compensation should be calculated based on tuition fees (which will vary depending on whether for a national student fees fell within the £9000 or £9250 catchment or international student fees) divided by the 155 teaching/contact days multiplied by the days lost.

"EG. £9250 / 155 = £59.67 x 14 (for the upcoming strike period) totalling £835.38."

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Additionally, a Facebook page titled "Strike Action for Students" has been launched by students Niamh Twomey, 3rd year English Literature and Max Bover, 3rd year English Literature with Creative Writing.

They have plans to publish an open letter to the Head of the English School and the Vice Chancellor.

They told The Newcastle Tab about their reasons for launching the page.

Niamh and Max said: "We started this page as a way to create a community of Newcastle University students who want compensation for the disruption that strike action has caused. We agree with what seems to be the major consensus amongst students, that we deserve financial compensation for what will be the third strike in some students’ time at university, and think that we are entitled to academic compensation alongside this.

"Strike Action for Students was the most effective way we could think to organise a direct appeal to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Chris Day, and the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Julie Sanders, for reimbursement in the form of fair marking and assessment for all subject areas affected by this round of strikes.

"We are creating an open letter in conversation with students detailing the compensation we feel we deserve, and hope it will act as a template for any student who can be involved in sending the letter to the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor, alongside sending to their appropriate Head of School.

"As we gain more of a following, we will create events that will hammer home our message, for example organising sit-ins and encouraging students to attend picket lines in order to receive the compensation that we feel students are entitled to."

You can read more about the upcoming strike action here, as well as what students have to say.