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Historic Vote as KCLSU Members Decide Not to Support Potential Strike Action

KCLSU Strikes student officers on staircase

Following the respective meetings of both the King’s branch of the University and College Union (KCL UCU) and the King’s College London Students’ Union (KCLSU), students have voted against supporting the UCU and their potential strike action.

In their statement, released October 25, the KCLSU Student Officer team stated that whilst “[they] are sympathetic to the cause and deeply appreciate the work of King’s academics and administrators, we believe strikes would only add to the significant damage students have already had to endure with two years of national lockdowns, continued lack of in-person teaching, and post importantly loss of learning and student experience.

“Students are at the heart of all of our efforts, as we work to ensure that every student has an opportunity to thrive. It was a tough decision.”

Roar has seen embargoed voting figures showing the specific majority of voters against supporting potential strike action, representing a margin of over 10%. These figures will be updated following their official release by KCLSU spokespersons.

Whilst KCLSU has historically supported strike action, most recently in 2019, due in part to the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption of learning it brought, the Student Officer team have stated that “students at King’s have made their voices heard, asking for stability and a return to full in-person teaching”.

The UCU ballot is set to close on November 4. If they chose to proceed with strike action, KCLSU stipulated that it “is likely to take place in late November and could last for several weeks.

The University College London Students’ Union (UCLSU) have also decided not to support the UCU, following a Union Executive meeting earlier this month.

Despite the decision not to support any strike action carried out by the UCU, the KCLSU Student Officer team has made it clear that they “will respect the outcome of the UCU ballot, whatever the outcome […] In the same vein, we ask that KCL UCU and their colleagues respect our decision not to support their strike action.”

When asked to comment on the results of the KCLSU ballot, KCL UCU stated that they “are waiting to hear about the number of students who voted and how they voted before commenting on this”. Further planned action includes a talk on “Visible Skin, Invisible Gaps: Black History Month and the Four Fights”, with students leading different campaigns to speak.

Roar will continue to update you as the situation develops.

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