On Thursday, 24th and Friday, the 25th of November, academic staff (including Graduate Teaching Assistants or Postgraduates).in the UCU and professional and service staff in UNISON will be striking together at the Waterloo and Strand Campuses.
KCL’s UCU reps have been vocal about their working conditions, pay and pension disputes with KCL that have been happening since 2018. They say they have Four Fights: Pay, Workload, Casualisation, and Equality. Staff will be taking Action Short of Strike (ASOS) from this month onwards, meaning that KCL staff withhold their labour outside of just demonstrating on the picket line. This includes:
- Not working outside of their contracted hours
- Not rescheduling classes/lectures
- Not covering for absent colleagues
- Removing/ not sharing uploaded materials related to cancelled classes/lectures
- And occasionally, not marking or assessing work (boycott) - as far as we know, KCL staff have not yet included a marking boycott in ASOS.
If you want to support the strikes and show solidarity with staff, you can join student groups like Liberate KCL, Decolonise KCL and the Intersectional Feminist Society, which will be rallying on the 25th of November on Strand Campus. If you would like to attend, there will be teach-outs on both strike days. On the 30th of November, KCL’s academic staff will also participate in another big UCU National Strike Rally at King’s Cross Station.
For those frustrated with the strike, we, as officers, are working on lobbying KCL, so your university experience is not completely ruined. Shagun’s update last week detailed how you can request compensation. KCLSU’s advice team can also help with filing complaints to KCL once the complaints form is released after the strikes. They have an online form, or you can come to KCLSU Hub desks if you wish to meet with an Advisor. The cut-off for sending complaints is 28th February 2023. If you are unsure if you will be missing your classes, please contact your tutor or department.
As officers, we have not come to a consensus on supporting the strikes or not. Some of us support and some are more sceptical, but we’ve found that this directly mirrors the views of KCL students. We recognize that the strikes will be going ahead either way and we want to focus our attention on how we can help students and take tangible action. Shagun and Tej will be manning a stall on the 25th of November in The Shack if you want to discuss the strikes and need help with how to complain to the university. We are meeting regularly with KCL to discuss how to best help students and mitigate any distress, anxiety or missed learning.
If you would like to ask us more about this, you can email us at [email protected]
VP Education (Arts & Sciences)