If the UUK will not negotiate pension changes with the UCU, students demand compensation

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Considering the enormous input of passion, knowledge and extra hours UCU members like lecturers and tutors currently dedicate to their teaching - which constitutes the vast majority of our time at University - we find the current UUK (Universities UK) proposal for changes to the pensions of UCU (University and College Union) members unacceptable. We call upon the UUK to enter negotiations with UCU on their pensions and prevent the planned strikes from happening.

The strikes will have a huge impact on students at a crucial time in the academic year, when we are supposed to be completing or preparing for exams and essay deadlines under the guidance of tutors and lecturers. If the UUK do not agree to negotiate with the UCU before the strikes begin, we demand compensation for students. The money that the universities will save in wages that would be paid to striking UCU members should either be paid back to current students, or donated to the university's student hardship funds. As students, we pay £9000 a year in tuition fees, and it is frankly inconceivable that this money is not enough to at least fund the current amount that the university puts towards the pensions of our UCU members. 

At the very least, we as students deserve transparency from our universities and organisations like the UUK. We would like to know exactly where our £9000 per year is going that means we cannot pay UCU members and other university employees the wages they deserve, and provide for them the pensions they deserve. We would also like to know what the university plans to do with the money they save from UCU members striking.

We would much prefer to be taught by our tutors and lecturers than for the strikes to go ahead, but if the UUK continue to refuse to enter negotiations, students need compensation.

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