Stirling Solidarity Space unsatisfied with Student Union response to UCU strikes

5 mins read

The Stirling Student Union have come under intense scrutiny from the Stirling Solidarity Space in regards to the UCU strikes.

The University and College Union is currently partaking in a Marking and Assessment boycott as part of an ongoing dispute regarding pay and working conditions across the UK.

In a series of photos on the organisation’s instagram page, the Solidarity Space alleged that a Union statement from Monday 26th June on the strike action is both ‘disappointing and contrary to union policy.’

The statement in full reads:

“In November 2022, students overwhelmingly passed the ‘UCU Strike Solidarity’ Motion at a Union General Meeting, which compels the Officers of the Union to unequivocally support the UCU in this dispute, and communicate this support and information about the strike to students.

Their statement does not do this. Instead, it attempts to pit students against workers – buying into University Management’s rhetoric. As such, the statement goes against establish Union policy.”

The original Student Union statement mention that the Union supports the industrial action taken by the UCU.

They are also ‘here to represent and champion students’ and, as such, they will be attending the graduation ceremonies in June.

“We know how much effort students have put in across their time here to be graduating this summer, especially with many disruptions. We want to stand with students graduating this summer and rightly celebrate their achievements.”

The Stirling Solidarity Space have also expressed their frustration at the lack of Union presence on the UCU picket line and state that ‘during all strikes before the current Sabbatical Officers entered office, the Students’ Union was represented.’

Graduating students from Stirling Solidarity Space Image Credit: Stirling Solidarity Space

In a revised statement released Friday 30th June, the Union Sabbatical Team gave their stance on the UCU strikes.

‘As a Students’ Union, we are proud to stand by the University and College Union (UCU) and university staff members in their dispute with the University and recognise the valuable role our staff play in supporting students throughout the year.

Therefore, we would like to reaffirm our support for staff involved in the current marking and assessment boycott (MAB) which is solely focused on pay, precarious contracts, the gender pay gap, and excessive workloads.

We extend our solidarity to UCU on behalf of the Students’ Union through our conversations with University management and through tackling the misinformation spread regarding the boycott and why staff are involved.’

The second statement came after an alleged lack of response to the Stirling Solidarity Space, to other Stirling University Societies and other concerned individuals. The final picket had also concluded.

Stirling Solidarity Space provided Brig with a comment in a response.

“After 5pm on Friday evening, we – along with societies who raised these issues – received a response from the Officers. While the response itself was relatively vague, it accompanied an updated statement on the Union Website – this time closer to following Union Policy.

We still regret that Officers were not on the picket line with the UCU, and still have not been told why. However, this updated statement represents significant progress. We are happy that the Union is now clear – it unequivocally and unreservedly supports the action taken by our friends in the UCU.

Unfortunately, the Sabbatical Officers were unable to support the strike while attending graduation. It is also disappointing that none of them raised the issue at University Court.

Representing students is difficult, and everyone makes mistakes. It is encouraging that these Sabbatical Officers are willing to admit their mistakes. 

Our Sabbatical Officers are elected to enact the will of union members. They are accountable to students. We look forward to working with them, and the UCU, on important campaigns throughout the year.“

Graduating students from Stirling Solidarity Space Image Credit: Stirling Solidarity Space

Featured Image Credit: Stirling Solidarity Space

+ posts

3rd year English and Journalism student, passionate about social change, Formala 1 and everything in between.

%d bloggers like this: