UCU strikes: Almost 6,000 Hallam students sign petition demanding compensation in 24 hours

‘I can’t believe it’

Thousands of students have signed a petition calling for compensation over the upcoming lecturer strike.

The demand on Sheffield Hallam University has amassed 6,000 signatories in just 24 hours.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the institution are set to walk out for 14 days between February 20 and March 13 in a row over pay.

The petition urges the institution to pay students £863.33 over the “massive disruption” to lectures, seminars, exams and dissertations.

“We are paying £863.33 for 14 days of study which we won’t receive,” it says.

“Money aside, this strike comes in some students final semester before graduating, which has a detrimental impact on our assignments, exams, projects and dissertations.

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Thousands of lecturers are set to strike again at the end of this month

“While tutors are on strike, they cannot reply to emails or be available for one to one tuition.”

The striking staff at 74 universities, who also walked out in March 2018 and November 2019 for a total of 22 days, also plan to launch “action short of a strike”, meaning classes are unlikely to be rescheduled.

Tom Barton, the third-year Hallam journalism student who set up the petition, said he was unsurprised at the response given the strength of feeling on campus.

“I set it up because I couldn’t believe that they would plan strikes for so long so in such a crucial period for students, especially final year students writing dissertations,” he told The Tab Sheffield.

“I will have projects that need to be vigorously checked by my lecturers before I can submit, so these strikes essentially knock two weeks off of my deadline as I have to rush to get my work finished.

“This is something I can’t stress enough, I fully support the strikes. The lecturers aren’t the problem. The people at the top of the university like the vice chancellor need to acknowledge how much these strikes affect students and he needs to do something about it.”

He added that lawyers have contacted him about potential legal action. It comes as a University of Sheffield student is currently suing the institution for almost £2,000 over the two previous strike periods, as The Tab Sheffield revealed last week.

Meanwhile a Tab poll of nearly 400 Sheffield students and graduates yesterday found 91 per cent want compensation.

Sign the petition here.