Industrial action - information for students

The University and College Union have announced plans for further industrial action in early 2023, in the form of strike days in February and March.

UCU have now announced their planned strike days as:

  • Wed 1 February
  • Thurs 9 and Fri 10 February
  • Tues 14 - Thurs 16 February inclusive
  • Tues 21 to Thurs 23 February inclusive
  • Mon 27 Feb- Thurs 2 March inclusive
  • Thurs 16 - Fri 17 March
  • Mon 20 - Weds 22 March inclusive

Negotiations are continuing between the national bodies involved in the dispute, which mean that there is still a chance these won't go ahead. As this is a national dispute, unfortunately it is not something we can resolve locally at Kent - decisions on pay and pensions are taken by university-wide UK bodies.

On strike days, some staff at Kent will join others across the country in not delivering teaching or wider academic support.

This means your teaching on strike days may be cancelled and there could also be some knock-on effects on other University services too.

The impact of strikes can be very different in different areas - not all lecturers are members of UCU and not all members take strike action.

Join the webchat on 7 Feb

To help answer some of your questions around industrial action, Richard Reece, DVC Education and Student Experience, is running a webchat on Tuesday 7 February between 13:00 and 14:00.

Sign up for webchat.

Background to the strikes

The University and College Union is the largest teaching union at universities across the country. After a recent ballot of their members, they are taking industrial action over concerns around pay, pensions and working conditions. 

This is a country-wide dispute shaped by decisions around pay and pensions taken at national level - this means that as an individual institution, we have limited influence over the issues under dispute.

That said, all of us want to work in a sector where staff are well-rewarded for their hard work and we want to do all we can to have a positive working environment for all.

Read more on what we are doing at Kent 

What happens on strike days

The impact of strikes can vary and it is likely that there will be more disruption in some areas than others. If lecturers in your School are taking part then it may mean that your classes on strikes days are cancelled, or that other activity planned by those members of staff doesn't take place. 

Union members do not have to let us know they are going on strike so sometimes this can mean classes are cancelled at very short notice. Whatever happens, we will make sure that other key services such as student support are available to you throughout. 

If your teaching session is cancelled because of strike action, it will have no impact on your attendance record. Sessions where no attendance is recorded are not included in your overall attendance percentage. 

Read how to prepare for a strike day

Our commitment to you throughout

Whatever happens, we will do all we can to ensure you have the best possible experience at Kent:

  • We will do all we can to mitigate any impact on your studies 
  • We will never devalue your degree or coursework 
  • We will refund you for any direct expenses you incur as a result of industrial action 
  • Any staff salaries saved as a result of strike days will be reinvested in your student experience 
  • We will be open and transparent with you throughout  

Read more on support available 

If you have any questions regarding industrial action, you can email industrialaction@kent.ac.uk



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