Information on planned strike action

As part of national action within the Higher Education Sector, the EIS, UNISON, Unite and UCU (University and College Union) trade unions have called on their members to take strike action. They have outlined intended strike dates, and this may mean there is some disruption to classes and services at the University during this time.

We have put together the following FAQ to provide you with as much information as possible about the strike and how it may affect you.

 
 

When will the strikes take place?

The strike dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 23 November – Unite
  • Thursday 24 November – EIS, UNISON, UCU and Unite
  • Friday 25 November – EIS, UNISON, UCU and Unite
  • Wednesday 30 November - UCU and Unite

What is a strike?

Union members who take part in the strike action will not work on the strike days. As is normal practice in these circumstances, the University will withhold pay from trade union members for each day that they take strike action.

Is the University open during the strike action?

Yes. The University is open as normal. We expect our students to come to the University on these days.

How will I know if my classes are cancelled?

During the strike action, you should assume that your studies will continue as normal. This means that you should attend scheduled teaching, complete and submit assessments by the relevant deadlines, and continue to plan for any centrally arranged, end of trimester examinations in weeks 14/15.

During strike action, your class could be cancelled at short notice. This is because legally staff do not need to tell their employer in advance if they are going to take strike action. We hope that your lecturers and tutors will let you and the University know in advance when classes may be withdrawn or rescheduled. You are entitled to ask them about this although they are not obliged to answer.

We will do our best to minimise disruption to you and in the event of a lecture or class being cancelled, you will be notified in advance wherever possible.

Can I join the strike?

The action is for trade union members only and is not a legitimate reason to miss classes or assessments. You should attend all classes as usual.

Can I cross a picket line?

A picket line is a form of protest where people congregate at a location, usually at the entrance and exits of the campus buildings, to draw attention to their cause.

Staff on picket lines should not stop you from entering a building or prevent your access to any part of the campus. Staff do not wish to disrupt students’ education and these picket lines should not feel intimidating.

What services will be affected during the strike?

Our libraries will remain open, but we anticipate a reduced staff presence and face-to-face support. There may also be delays with the delivery of Click and Collect and Inter Library Loans services.

IT support both on campus and via the Service Desk will also be reduced. It is likely there will be delays in responding to IT support calls and priority will be given to urgent issues affecting learning and teaching. You can find IT and Library support contact details below:

Unfortunately, we will be unable to operate any catering services across our campuses on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November.

We are unable to offer free student breakfasts or hot drinks on these days, and there will be no tea or coffee making facilities available. Students are advised to bring in their own food and drink or purchase from local shops on these days.

Will teaching sessions be rescheduled if they are cancelled?

No. Classes will not be rescheduled as this is part of the academic strike action.

You should look on Moodle for any supplementary material or notes and reading lists that are available. Contact your programme leader, module leader, and/or Personal Development Tutor (PDT) to ask for further advice if you have any concerns about missed classes.

Will student assessments and the delivery of exams be affected?

Centrally organised end of trimester exams (wk14, wk15) should not be affected and will take place as planned. Other student assessments could be affected, and you should ask your module team if you have any concerns.

Will exam papers be revised if teaching cannot be completed?

All centrally organised end of trimester exam papers have now been finalised. These will reflect the content of each module that must be covered. The material may have been delivered through multiple platforms, not only through direct teaching. You will also be able to access materials on Moodle and wider engagement with the subject through other library resources and independent research and study.

Will there be extensions given to submission deadlines for student assessments?

You should comply with assessment submission dates published on Moodle. Any requests for extensions to submission deadlines can be applied for using the usual procedures highlighted on Moodle.

Should students complete Extenuating Circumstances documentation if their academic performance is affected by the strike action?

While some of your classes may be affected by the strike action, you will still have access to all learning materials on Moodle. Remember that not all classes will be impacted by any strike action and there are other ways to access the information provided in classes.

For those who need to use these processes for other issues, information on Extenuating Circumstances or appeals procedures and the evidence required can be found on My Napier.

Will I be entitled to compensation if I miss classes or coursework?

We will do everything we can to avoid disruption to your classes and coursework, and there will not be an opportunity for compensation. Fees contribute to very much more than direct contact hours: facilities such as the library, IT support, student services, heating and lighting all have to come from the University’s varied revenues. As such, we are not in a position to make refunds.

In the event that you are not satisfied with the actions we take to minimise the effects of the strike action, you may be entitled to make a complaint through the University’s complaints procedure.

What arrangements will there be for Graduate Apprentice students who can only attend University on a specific day due to their work commitments?

As for all students, we will do our best to inform you in advance of any classes being cancelled. If you have any concerns or questions, then please contact your programme leader directly.

Where can I get more support if I am particularly worried by the strike?

If you have any concerns about your studies, speak to your Personal Development Tutor (PDT), programme leader or module leader. Find out more about your PDT on My Napier.

You may also wish to speak to a member of the Student Wellbeing & Inclusion team. You can find out more about these services and how to get in touch on My Napier.

Will student attendance records be affected if students are not in classes on a strike day?

The attendance records of students whose classes are cancelled because of the strike action will not be affected. This includes International Students studying on a Student Visa where non-attendance at a class which is cancelled will not be counted towards a student’s engagement record.

Will there still be support for students studying overseas with partner institutions?

Yes. You should continue to contact your local programme team, Module Leaders and Programme Leader.

What should students do if they want to make a complaint as a result of the strike action?

We will always consider any complaint we receive from our students about anything they put to us. We always ask that you review the information on the complaints page on My Napier before submitting a complaint.

While our Complaints Handling Procedure does include “dissatisfaction with the University’s policy” as something which would constitute grounds for a complaint, it also states that policy may be set at the discretion of the University and employment-related matters are areas where we do exercise this discretion.

We will not progress any complaints received from students about the occurrence of the strike action, but we will listen to complaints from students about any disadvantage they perceive as a result of how we have mitigated for the strike action. We ask that any such perceived disadvantage and the impact of it is clearly explained and evidenced in the complaint.

We will handle any complaints we receive on a case-by-case basis and, as with complaints we receive about anything, will seek to address them quickly and consistently.

Why is pay being deducted from staff on strike?

If staff choose to take part in strike action, pay will be deducted. We have shared information with all staff to explain how and when this will happen.

What will the University do with the money saved through salaries not being paid to staff on strike?

Staff who take part in strike action will not be entitled to pay from the University for strike days, and we are committed to ensuring that funds saved as a consequence of any strike action which impacted upon students will be re-prioritised to benefit students in a range of different ways.