Minister tells universities to give striking lecturers' pay back to students
Universities should compensate students hit by industrial action by lecturers, the minister in charge of higher education has said.
Sam Gyimah spoke out as students face three days without classes or assessment due to a dispute between institutions and the Universities and College Union (UCU).
Thousands of students have now signed petitions calling for the cash withheld from staff salaries during the strike to be returned to them in compensation.
The Universities Minister tweeted yesterday: "I expect all universities affected to make clear that any money not paid to lecturers - as a consequence of strike action - will go towards student benefit including compensation."
The two sides in the dispute were due to meet yesterday following an offer from employer Universities UK, although the UCU is apparently concerned that employers have not committed to discuss the changes to pensions that are behind the strikes.
Universities UK wants to switch staff from an income-based defined benefit system to a less generous defined contribution system, based on their fund's stock market investments.