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email to all students from Lynn Robinson

1 March 2018

Dear student,

You will be aware that some staff have been taking part in industrial (strike) action in relation to their future pensions arrangements. I am pleased to say that the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) have re-engaged in talks in the past 48 hours, and that these talks will continue next week. We hope that these will reach a successful conclusion but, at this time, the UCU have indicated that they will be continuing industrial action. We will keep you updated should this situation change.

I know that many of you have been in contact with your schools regarding possible cancellation of teaching and assessment activities.

Legally, staff do not have to tell the University in advance if they plan to take industrial action, although we know that many staff will tell students about any cancellations. You should therefore assume that teaching will go ahead as timetabled unless you hear otherwise from the staff member or school office, but bear in mind that there may be no advance notice of a change.

When we are told about teaching or assessment that has not occurred, we will consider what action we might be able to take to support students. This will depend on individual circumstances but might include, for example, extensions to deadlines or changes to what is included in an examination.

I know that you would wish for more certainty, but the University needs to consider each case individually and safeguard academic standards. We will work hard to keep you informed at all stages.

As expected, the atmosphere on campus has generally been calm and good-natured during the action. We have been clear from the start that the University fully supports the right of staff to choose for themselves whether they wish to take part in the action.

It has been encouraging to see this being reflected on the picket lines with respectful discussions between those taking action and those going into the building to work or study. Most students have been attending classes as planned.

We have had a small number of reports of instances where some protesters have noisily disrupted lectures and study areas. We would like to remind everyone that this is not acceptable behaviour. It can be distressing for the students and staff affected, and disrespectful of the decision they have made freely to attend.

If you have any other questions, the University has provided further information at bristol.ac.uk/students/industrial-action.

Best regards

Lynn Robinson
Deputy Registrar (Academic Services)