Students have been asked to stand in solidarity with staff campaigning for better pay today.
A second round of Higher Education Strikes has caused more lecture cancellations and library closures for students.
Before the official strike day, UCU released a statement instead encouraging students to write to their lecturers to “support fair pay on campus by not crossing [picket lines].”
One student said: “It’s uncomfortable because we have been put in the middle of their argument.”
Henry Yeomans, a lecturer in the School of Law said: “I am taking part in the strike simply because my pay is falling in real terms. I appreciate that many students will be unhappy about this. I would emphasise, however, that this is all the more reason why HE employers should commit to paying their employees a fair wage.”
Issues were also raised at a Q&A session on Wednesday about the strike, which was held with representatives from the three main trade unions on campus UCU, Unison and Unite.
Employees at LUU questioned how they are meant to get to work during the strike action.
A full time employee of the union, who is not striking, expressed his solidarity with the strike, but questioned how he would get to work without breaking the picket line.
Neil Lowely of Unite said he spoke to the directors of LUU about the issue, but came to no agreement, saying: “I can’t in good conscience give you the assurance that you’re free to cross the picket line, because your management won’t give that kind of assurance.”
Another employee of the Union criticised the lack of information about the strike action.
Education officer Alice Smart said that despite informal discussions, that the Exec had yet to decide what their statement. She also said that: “our communications will be for students, communicating with staff isn’t really our remit.”
A statement was later issued the day before the strike, stating: “Leeds University Union respect and support the right for University staff to strike and the Exec feel that their demands for decent pay are fair and justified.”
The statement also included a line from the University saying: ” if students choose to miss a lecture or seminar that is running on Tuesday, they will be at risk of being marked absent. “
Photo: School of Healthcare