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Information for parents

 

Questions and answers about the disputes and industrial action

 

What are the dates of the industrial action?

The University and College Union’s (UCU) mandate for industrial action will mean that King’s College London will experience both strike action and action short of a strike. UCU has advised us that the dates when strike action will take place are as follows:

  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 February
  • Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March
  • Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March
  • Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March

The action short of strike is intended to be continuous and will start on 24 February 2020 and will end no later than 27 July 2020.

This will consist of UCU members working to contract:

  • not covering for absent colleagues
  • not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not sharing materials relating to lectures or classes cancelled as a result of strike action
  • and not undertaking any voluntary activities.

Who are UCU?

The University and College Union is the main trade union in many universities for academic and academic-related staff.

What is the university doing to minimise disruption?

The university is committed to doing everything we possibly can to support our students during the industrial action.

We are working closely with our faculties, departments and King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) to consider all available measures to minimise the impact of the disruption on students’ studies.

We will ensure that no students’ academic outcomes are disadvantaged by the industrial action.

Please be assured that we will explore all the available options to mitigate any potential impact on student learning and do what we can to make up for lost learning opportunities.

Will the university remain open during strike days?

Yes, the university will remain open and students will continue to have access to the libraries, computer rooms, and services to enable them to continue their studies and independent learning.

What happens to teaching and learning during industrial action?

Where possible, teaching and learning activities will go ahead, including the supervision of projects and dissertations, but there may be instances where sessions have to be cancelled.

If they can, faculties or departments will let students know as soon as possible of any change to their timetabled sessions.

However, we are not always in a position to inform of any changes in advance, as staff members are not legally required to tell the university if they plan to take industrial action. Students should keep in touch with their faculty or department for further information and updates specific to their circumstances.

On days without strike action, teaching will go ahead as normal.

What support will be offered to students during industrial action?

We are working hard to deal with any disruption whilst prioritising the continued welfare, education, and learning of our students.

We appreciate industrial action can cause uncertainty and concern for students and are doing everything we can to help remedy this as student wellbeing is our number one priority.

As part of this, we have created some Industrial Action Q&As for our students which include signposting to mental health and wellbeing support.

We are also organising additional activities for students to get involved in. We have also been proactively working with our Students’ Union. The Students’ Union facilities will be open as usual and all students are welcome to gather and study with friends during any periods of industrial action.

How can students make a complaint?

The university remains committed to delivering an educational programme for each student during any period of industrial action and it will seek to ensure that students remain able to complete their programmes of study and graduate as anticipated.

All reasonable attempts will be made to make contingencies for students to continue their studies without detriment to their learning opportunities and assessment outcomes.  

There is a separate process and complaint form for raising a complaint in relation to the industrial action.

Details are available on the Student Complaints webpage [add link].

Complaints relating to the industrial action must be submitted by 30 September 2020. Please be aware that faculties and departments are unable to deal with any complaints, and these should be directed through the formal process.

Who should I contact with questions?

The university has a dedicated email address for all queries in relation to industrial action, questions@kcl.ac.uk.