York will pay for graduation gowns as compensation for the lecturer strikes

Striking staff’s withheld pay will be used to fund students’ graduation gowns

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The University of York have decided to compensate students for the loss of contact hours by paying for their graduation gowns.

Following discussion with YUSU and the GSA, York will be covering the cost for both graduation ceremonies in July 2018 and January 2019, using pay withheld from staff during the recent industrial action.

This was confirmed in an email sent to graduating students by Valerie Cotter, the Deputy of Academic Registrar and Director of Student Services.

The email also said, "further discussions are planned with the Students' Union to identify other initiatives from these funds that will benefit our continuing students during 2018/19 and beyond."

Those who had already ordered and paid for their gowns will receive an email from Ede & Ravenscroft explaining they will be fully reimbursed as well as an automated email which tells them their order has been cancelled.

These students are advised to go back to the Ede & Ravenscroft website and order their gowns again where they will receive a new hire number.

"Support Our Staff UoY", the organisation who occupied Heslington Hall in March in support of the lecturer strikes, said they "strongly reject" the decision.

Posting on Twitter, they said: "We strongly reject @UniOfYork's attempt to use docked wages from staff during the #USSstrike to pay off students' graduation gowns. This is a disrespectful measure meant to present staff action during the strike as being opposed to what is in the general interest of students."