Association statement on upcoming UCU ballot on strike action

We understand that any action, including strike action, will be a cause for concern for students due to the disruption this will cause to your studies, whilst you will recognise that staff satisfaction remains imperative the student experience.

The image shows Gareth Jones, CEC Deputy President

The University and College Union (UCU) is holding a ballot on whether to take industrial action in relation to their four aims. We understand that any action, including strike action, will be a cause for concern for students due to the disruption this will cause to your studies, whilst you will recognise that staff satisfaction remains imperative the student experience. Our preference is that UCU members do not feel the need to resort to this.
We know how much Open University (OU) Students, our members, value the relationships they have with members of staff at the OU, particularly with their tutors. We also know that OU Students will want to see this resolved amicably. Students have recently experienced anxiety due to the pandemic and about the cost-of-living crisis and will want to avoid any further disruption to their learning experience. All Higher Education (HE) stakeholders have a responsibility to mitigate this and prevent any further disruption. 

Therefore, we call on the OU to utilise the influence they have over national HE bodies, demanding that the national negotiating team return to the negotiating table, and we urge others in the HE sector to do the same to prevent more disruption to students. As your elected Student Leadership Team, student concerns will remain at the forefront of any conversations we have with the OU on this issue, urging them to push for a satisfactory resolution. 

Gareth Jones
Deputy President
(On behalf of the Student Leadership Team)