UEL lecturers strike in Stratford and Docklands over workload

Lecturers at the University of East London (UEL) went out on strike on Thursday over plans to increase their workload.

Around 400 staff at the university are members of the University and College Union (UCU) that oppose a policy proposal they say would increase teaching, marking and assessment hours.

Industrial action took place outside both the Stratford Campus, Water Lane and the Docklands Campus, University Way, with support from UEL’s Student Council.

Negotiations

Negotiations are currently being held with UEL but the UCU called off industrial action due to take place Tuesday to facilitate a meeting with the university’s management.


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However, strike action is threatened next Monday should no agreement be reached before then.

Greg Barnett, UCU regional official, said: “These lecturers are already working some of the longest hours in British universities and further increasing their workloads will lead to higher levels of stress and sickness, damaging the quality of education for students.

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“This untenable and unjust policy legitimises a dangerous long-hours culture, and gives the green light to differential treatment of lecturers depending on whereabouts in the university they work.

“We have tried our utmost to find a way through this that is acceptable to everyone and have made considerable concessions along the way.

“Strike action is a last resort and we’ll continue to seek agreement up to the eleventh hour.”

A UEL spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the union is calling strike action while negotiations are ongoing.

“Regardless of action taken, we are genuinely committed to achieving a negotiated outcome to this dispute and hope to reach a resolution with minimal impact upon the student experience.”

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