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Strike FAQs

What is a strike?

A strike is when employees protest against unacceptable working conditions by refusing to work.


This is done to put pressure on their employer, who relies on the labour of workers.


Goldsmiths lecturers and academics are striking over issues relating to pay, pensions, inequality, their workload and the casualisation of workers.


This action is their leverage to change conditions.

My class is not cancelled and my lecturer is not on strike - should I attend class?

That is a personal decision for you to make.


If your class is not cancelled, you may want to attend as it will cover important educational content. If you don't attend, you may be marked absent, which - if you are an international student - could affect your visa in certain circumstances.


There are plenty of other ways to show your solidarity.

What is a picket line, and can I cross it?

A 'picket line' is an area where those who are protesting gather together.


The act of 'crossing the picket line' could symbolise that you do not agree with the strikers.


We encourage you to respect the strike by not crossing the picket line until after 1pm each day.


If you have scheduled a meeting, perhaps you could delay it until a later time or meet on the picket with a coffee!


An empty campus will show Goldsmiths management that we are not accepting this attack on our staff and the UK education system.


Please note, the Students’ Union and Library will be open as normal.


Whilst we encourage you to stand on the picket line with us, we recognise that activity other than teaching takes place on campus so you can still access these areas: Wellbeing Services, Counselling, Prayer Room, Disability,

Should I withhold my tuition fees from the university?

We advise against withholding or withdrawing your tuition fees.


Not paying your tuition fees could put you in a precarious and unsafe situation, legally and contractually.


If you don't pay your fees on time, the university could potentially withdraw you from being a student, meaning you could no longer access your course and would lose your student status.

I'm an international student - how will this affect me?

We understand that for international students, the strike's disruption may be even more concerning.


We have assurances from the college that they will do everything they can to ensure international students will not be adversely punished by the disruption.


Our recommendation would be that unless your class is cancelled due to strike action and this has been communicated by your department staff, that you attend.


This is especially important given attendance is linked to visa requirements and status.


I need to study. Where can I go?

The Library and Students' Union will still be open.


Bear in mind that they might be a lot busier than usual.


The prayer room and wellbeing room will still be accessible, as will the quiet space and Liberation Room in the Students' Union.

How will the strike affect assessments?

The college have indicated that if course content is missed because it falls on strike days, and is not rescheduled, this would be taken into consideration for assessments.


The guiding principle will be that students shouldn't be assessed on content they weren't taught.


If your assessment falls within the period of the strike and therefore is cancelled, your department will notify you.


For specific questions about assessments we would suggest you contact your department directly - most departments can be contacted by e.g.


You could also contact your UCU Department Reps if you have specific questions about your department and how the strike will impact your classes.


How will these strikes negatively affect university management?

The strikes affect the university by disrupting its ability to operate as normal.


Strikes also damage the university's reputation and attractiveness to future students and staff - a reputation they are very keen to protect.

We are aware that the strikes are likely to save the University money, as they won't pay striking staff.

Goldsmiths SU and Goldsmiths UCU have demanded that the University contribute any savings towards a hardship & disruption fund for students. However, they have refused.

It is our firm belief that the negative impact on the University's ability to function, reputation and attractiveness far outweighs any temporary positive impact on their balance sheet.

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