Abigail MeadowNovember 22nd
2019

Universities are preparing for mass compensation claims from students next week as tens and thousands of staff will hold a walk out on Monday (November 25th).

More than 43,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) are set to take part in the strike action at 60 universities across the UK in a continued dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

Anybody affected by missed lectures and seminars will be able to file complaints and apply for compensation, however university employers claim that many academics will cross the picket line and provide lectures during the eight strike days, acknowledging the need to minimise disruption for students.

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But students, who have to pay up to £9,250 a year in tuition fees, have already begun demanding refunds for next week's strikes. 

Carol Costello, spokesperson for the employers, said: “We appreciate this is an upsetting time for students and each university is making its independent arrangements to ensure that students are not affected by this industrial action.”

But she added: “A student would, if they felt that the university hadn’t made appropriate arrangements, need to put in a request to their university for compensation. 

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“Each university has to consider that independently and they would look at whether or not there had been any breach in the contractual relationship between themselves and the student in respect of any partial or full compensation that is required.”

Last year universities were brought to a standstill due to strikes over pensions with some forced to pay compensation to students over lost teaching hours.

And it sounds like the disruption could continue into the new year. Earlier this week UCU's general secretary warned of a second strike in January that could potentially affect January exams.

Ms Grady said: “Students should be asking serious questions of their vice-chancellors and putting pressure on them to get their representatives back to the negotiating table with serious offers that address all the issues at stake.”

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