GUCU SOLIDARITY WITH Goldsmiths Fees Strike

Solidarity with the Goldsmiths fees strike, Passed GUCU branch meeting 31.03.2021

GUCU notes:

– Since 5 March, 2021, a number of Goldsmiths students, organised through Gold Fees Strike, have been on a tuition fees strike (withholding payment of tuition fees) 

– There are now around 100 fees strikers from across a range of departments and undergraduate and postgraduate programmes 

– The university has begun threatening students behind on fees payment with withdrawal from Goldsmiths. This is doubly disturbing for international students who are fees strikers as it could mean that their visas could be revoked. 

– Fees strikers are demanding:

  1. The University offers all students a significant rebate on their tuition for the 2020/2021 academic year, befitting the loss of in-person and face-to-face learning, loss of access to facilities, delay in marking and feedback due to industrial action and the associated stress of these delays, and the loss of the experiential value that comes with physical access to the University. This compensation must not come at the expense of staff. 
  2. The University meets the demands of Goldsmiths UCU in full.
  3. The University fulfills its commitments to Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) in full.
  4. The University meets the demands of Goldsmiths Rent Strike in full.
  5. The University meets the demands that were sent by international students via email to Frances Corner.
  6. There should be immediate steps to democratise the University Council, allowing student and staff to be a concrete part of decision-making and to have control over Covid-19 safety measures and campus reopening plans. Staff and student representatives must have equal voting rights in Council to other members and representatives, and equal rights to debate and be a part of decision-making and planning in the institution. 
  7. Full sick and isolation pay for all staff in the university and recognition of the IWGB union. . 
  8. No repercussions for both international and local students taking part in the fee strike.

GUCU believes

– As stated in national UCU policy, the tuition fee system introduced in 1998 and expanded through legislation passed in 2004 and again in 2010 is unjust in imposing significant debts on graduates and treating education as an arena for private consumption rather than a public good. 

– Student solidarity with staff, as demonstrated through the incorporation of GUCU’s ASOS demands into the demands of the fees strike, should be responded to with full solidarity from staff. 

– Student on fees strike deserve full support and solidarity from organised workers at Goldsmiths

GUCU resolves

– To call upon SMT to suspend all disciplinary action against students taking part in the fees strike. This includes no disciplinary action, no threats of withdrawal from university, no revoking of visas of international students and reporting of international fees strikers to the UKVI and Home Office. 

– To call upon SMT to negotiate directly with Gold Fees Strike and recognise it, along with Goldsmiths Student Union, as the legitimate representative of students withholding fees

– To promote the fees strike campaign through all available channels including on social media

– To encourage all HoDs and module leaders to ensure wherever possible that any students suspended as a result of participation in the fees strike still have access to learning materials  and to encourage HoDs to do whatever they can to support students at risk of or who are actually withdrawn