UCL News


UCL teaching to be affected by industrial action this term

13 November 2019

As you may have heard, some UCL students may experience disruption to their classes due to industrial action from Monday 25 November – Wednesday 4 December.

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Several days of industrial action are planned by the University and College Union (UCU). UCU has called on its members to take action to support a dispute about pay and proposed changes to the USS Pension Scheme, to which many staff who teach and support teaching belong. UCU has met all the legal requirements for calling a lawful strike.

When will the industrial action take place?

There will be eight days of industrial action over a two-week period. The dates are as follows:

  • Week 1: Monday 25, Tuesday 26, Wednesday 27, Thursday 28 and Friday 29 November
  • Week 2: Monday 2, Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 December

What might this mean for you?

It is difficult to predict how you will be affected, particularly ahead of time. UCU represents staff across a variety of academic and professional services roles, but not all staff are members. Staff who choose to strike do not have to tell UCL of their intention beforehand and they may not commit to all 8 days.

This industrial action could mean that your classes or lectures are cancelled. You may also find that offices and student support services are not fully staffed on strike days.

You may see a picket line made up of UCU members outside some UCL buildings. They may be handing out information. You can ask them questions and they can ask you not to cross their picket line but they are not allowed to prevent you from entering the building.

How can you find out whether your classes are affected?

As far as possible your department will try to inform you about changes to the teaching schedule through the usual channels, i.e. email and Moodle, but please remember that striking staff do not have to tell UCL in advance.

Throughout the period of action, you should:

  • Keep a close eye on your UCL emails and look out for Moodle page announcements. 
  • Stay informed by following the links in this update and looking out for announcements in the media.

What to do if you are affected

We are committed to ensuring that you are not disadvantaged by this action and every effort will be made to recover learning. We also guarantee that you will not be assessed on academic content which has not been properly covered due to industrial action. Once we have a sense of the impact of this action, a Learning Opportunities Fund will be established from which you can apply for funds to support your learning. We anticipate this being in January 2020.

Further information and support

UCL is committed to supporting all aspects of student life during this period, with a range of services available. A more detailed list of FAQs can be found on the UCL Students website.

Please contact student-industrialaction@ucl.ac.uk if you have further questions.

If you have any worries related to the industrial action that may affect your mental health and wellbeing, UCL's team of expert staff in Student Support and Wellbeing provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space, in which you can discuss any issues that concern or affect you. To find out more and access support, please visit the UCL website, contact us through askUCL or call +44 (0)20 7679 0100. 

Anthony Smith
Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)

Wendy Appleby
Registrar and Head of Student & Registry Services