Picket lines have been made on many university campuses as university staff begin to strike in a dispute over pensions, Safiyha Bennington investigates
Strikes commenced on the 2nd of February. Lecturers decided to strike at universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, bringing classes to a halt. The fifty plus universities were affected as lecturers decided not to show up to classes due to a dispute in pensions. Students have been taking to social media expressing their anger and demanding refunds.
The average university student roughly pays £256 a class (based on a three day a week class for 12 weeks) and are now asking to be reimbursed for the classes that have been missed on behalf of the lecturers.
Universities are now threatening to put their foot down with the staff who decided not to show up to their classes during the strikes and establishments such as the University of Kent have told their staff that if they fail to re-plan cancelled classes or don’t show up in general that their pay could be docked anywhere between 50% and 100% “for every day where an individual continues to refuse to perform their full contract of employment”.
Dozens of petitions have gone online in the previous weeks demanding that Universities reimburse their students after the industrial action that has taken place.
A student from Oxford who would not like to be named has said on the matter: ‘We pay a lot for these classes… I’m in my final year and my deadline dates aren’t going to move but I’ll still be expected to hand in my coursework even though I’ve missed classes, its ridiculous.’