Uni Staff Strike: Students Call For Compensation

Google Maps image: Cardiff University

Academic staff at 64 universities are walking out over pensions dispute

Around 60,000 students at Welsh universities could see their classes disrupted today because of a strike over pensions.

Academic staff across the UK are taking part in the first of a series of walk outs.

Employers argue their pension scheme is billions of pounds in the red.

But the University and Colleges Union (UCU) says proposed changes would leave a typical lecturer far worse off in retirement.

A ballot of around 2,000 members of the UCU has taken place at Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Bangor universities.

Employers' group Universities UK (UUK) said the changes to the pensions scheme were essential because of its' deficit.

Meanwhile, more than 4,500 people have signed a petition calling for Cardiff University to compensate students for missed lectures.

The petition started by Cardiff University student Samuel Veal is asking for 'academic or financial compensation' over fears the action will affect learning for thousands of students paying to study.

Mr Veal's petition says, "The current planned strike action from the University and College Union (UCU) has come at a time of importance and concern for many university students.

"The proposed strike will affect 14 days of learning across 61 universities in the UK.

"Spread across 4 learning weeks, typical lecturers are striking due to a change in their pension scheme whereby they could lose up to £10,000 a year, equating to around £200,000 by retirement. 

"This petition neither refutes nor rejects the need for lecturers and tutors to strike to receive the pension they deserve.

"As students writing this, we stand by our lecturers and believe that their demands are justified. 

"However, the proposed action will impact students in a number of ways.

"Therefore, this petition aims for students at Cardiff University to receive some form of compensation, whether it be financial, or in the form of extenuating circumstances during the exam and deadline period. Due to the interruption of study, we feel that exam, essay and dissertation results could be negatively affected.

"If this petition receives the attention it deserves, we hope that students will receive what we are owed, not only as fee-paying customers, but as young people who are striving for a good education."

The staff strike is the first of 14 days of industrial action over four weeks.

More from Local