All entries for May 2006

May 31, 2006

The AUT Strike: An independent view

Why's the lecturers' strike still continuing and who is to blame? RaW News has spoken to the Guardian's Education Correspondent, Matthew Taylor, and according to him the Universities are behind the problems that students are facing, but the Unions' claims for 23% aren't genuine.

Listen to the full interview on the RaW News Podcast and keep up–to–date with all the latest on the lecturers' strike.

Don't forget we've got a one–hour special tomorrow at 5pm, where we'll be looking at all sides of the debate and assessing how badly students have been affected.

P.S. We've got Anne-Marie Greene from the AUT on tomorrow's show. She'll be telling us why the Unions feel they need to strike, how she's reading the comments on Warwick Blogs and why they've not put the current offer to members.


RaW News Podcast

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You can now download the latest from the RaW News team by subscribing to our podcasts.

Go to www.radio.warwick.ac.uk/news for more information and to subscribe.


Latest on the AUT Strike

The AUT look set to continue their strike action, having rejected an offer put to them by universities yesterday.

The "best and final offer" (which would result in a rise of 13.12% over three years) was conditional on the Unions calling off their 'action short of a strike' and putting the offer to its members.

Not wanting to agree to such a deal, it seems the AUT will formally reject the deal later today.

The result for students is that a deal seems further away than ever. More negotiations are unlikely to begin for at least a week, and then concluding a deal could take as long again.

It seems increasingly unlikely that graduations will go ahead in their traditional form. Instead, the university is likely to have to carry out their contingency plan which would see 'unclassified degrees' being awarded.


May 30, 2006

Union EGM: The Motion

Well, the Union still haven't uploaded the EGM policy yet, so here it is in full:

This Union Notes:

1. The current action short of a strike called by the Association of University Teachers (AUT), and their call for better pay

2. University and College Employers Association (UCEA)

3. That University funding will increase by 25% over the next 3 years as a direct result of Top–Up fees

4. The policy passed by Union Council in Term 2 2006, in support of the AUT

5. That the National Union of Students have taken a stance to support the AUT in their call for better pay and in their action, with the exception of the exam setting boycott which the NUS does not support.

6. The considerable amount of extra stress that students are experiencing at an already stressful time of year, as a result of the current pay dispute.

7. That an agreement between UCEA and the AUT will bring an immediate end to the industrial action

8. That Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, described the state of academic pay as a “very serious and deep seated problem” (noted in House of Commons transcripts – Hansard)

9. Academic recruitment is an international market, and that lecturers in many fields can move away from UK Universities and from academia in general to be paid significantly more immediately

This Union Believes:

1. That the situation where academic staff are forced to withdraw their labour should never have been allowed to arise.

2. That the withdrawal of labour by academic staff is having a devastating effect on students

3. That low pay for staff has a negative impact on student learning

4. If we sort out academic pay now we will prevent action in the near and foreseeable future

5. That students deserve properly paid, better motivated, and more committed lecturers

6. That by paying academic staff competitively, Universities will be able to attract and keep high quality academics

7. That the Universities have to power to end this dispute now and that by using stalling as a negotiation tactic they have harmed students

8. That putting pressure on the Universities, in a coalition with the AUT, is the fastest way to end the dispute

9. That taking action short of a strike was the last resort for the AUT

This Union Resolves:

1. To continue to support students by:

  • Providing the facility for students to complain to the University, to UCEA, and to the government on the Union Website
  • Making graduate recruiters aware of the situation, and seeking their reassurance that students with partial transcripts will not be penalised
  • providing updated information about the dispute as and when it happens, via flyers, posters, leaflets, and on the Union website.
  • Providing specialist support and help for individual students from the Education Officer, the Welfare & Equal Opportunities Officer, and from the Advice and Welfare Service

2. To continue to put pressure on all parties to SORT IT OUT as soon as possible

3. To continue to support the AUT, excluding their exam boycott.

4. To continue to work with the University to limit the damage to current students, especially by doing the following:

  • Making sure that students will graduate, and that they will be provided with as much of a completed transcript as possible when they leave University
  • Calling on Universities to take special measures to meet the specific needs of international students.
  • Putting pressure on the University to make sure that appropriate people mark students’ work and that where necessary this is the academic who set it.
  • Putting pressure on Universities across the world to not penalise students entering PG courses with partial transcripts
  • Making sure that all students effected by the dispute are given a letter from the Vice Chancellor to take to their future employer etc explaining the situation

5. To hold a “SORT IT OUT” demonstration in week 9, not supporting any party, expressing student disgust at the situation!

6. To call on UCEA to put an end to the dispute over lecturers pay and restore the full educational experience that students deserve at this important time.

7. To lapse policy 638 “Supporting the Lecturers Strike”

Note that the policy hasn't been through Steering yet, and so is not final.


May 29, 2006

Is the lecturers’ strike damaging your prospects?

Writing about web page http://www.radio.warwick.ac.uk/fullpodcast&podcast_id=News

We’re preparing a programme for Radio Warwick this Thursday 1st June on the lecturers’ strike and what it really means for us students.

We're looking for a few students who have really got problems because of the strike who wouldn’t mind being briefly interviewed on how it’s worrying/affecting you.

  • Maybe you’re a business student who got messed up by the announcement from the WBS lecturers

  • Maybe you’re a foreign student whose parents have paid a lot more for your education

  • Or maybe you think you might actually might benefit from the strike because the emergency regulations mean you can’t get marked down later in the year?

If you’ve got 20 minutes free on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning this week get in touch via the comments box below or email a.westbrook[at]warwick.ac.uk.

And you can listen to the show live on Thursday afternoon at 5pm and get updates all this week through our new shiny podcasts! Click here for details

Cheers guys!

RaW News


May 27, 2006

Lecturers' Strike latest

Want to keep in touch with the AUT strike?

Subscribe to the RaW News podcast for daily updates on the 'action short of a strike'.

There'll be daily bulletins at 5pm, plus a one–hour special on Thursday night.

On today's Podcast:

  • Higher Education minister gets booed
  • Students Union calls EGM
  • Aberdeen suspends lecturers' pay
  • And more…

Listen to the podcast here


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