Monday, May 15, 2006

AUT Forces Exam Cancellations

IT was confirmed today that Queen's University, Belfast will have to cancel examinations due to the ongoing industrial action by some lecturers.

The Vice-Chancellor has confirmed that 6 percent of exams will have to be scrapped because lecturers have not set them. Special arrangements will have to be made for students’ whose exams have been cancelled, some assessment marks will only be taken into account after the AUT action ends and lecturers have returned to work.

Most examinations will be unaffected and Mr Gregson insists that graduations will continue as normal, emphasising that Queen’s will do all it can to minimise the effect of the strike on students.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "Queen's students can be assured that arrangements are in place to minimise the impact of this industrial action.

"Graduations will take place as normal, and first and second year students will be able to progress to the next year of their studies."

In a statement the University appealed to the Association of University Teachers (AUT) to call off its industrial action saying that students must come first. The University also criticised the AUT for putting additional pressure on students about to start their examinations.

All students have been written to assuring them that the AUT action will not stop them progressing to the next stage of their academic careers, or graduating in July.

In the statement Professor Gregson said the University had invested millions in pay, and Queen's academic salaries were competitive nationally and internationally. Queen's was among one of a small group of universities which had introduced a revised salary scheme one year ahead of the rest of the sector, at a costof almost £3 million this year on top of the annual pay award.

He said: "Queen's has implemented a 6.6 per cent increase in salaries this year. Nationally an offer of 12.6 per cent over the next three years hasbeen made, and I am surprised that the AUT executive are not putting this totheir members."

A spokeperson for the AUT, on a national level have released this statement:

"We have made it very clear from before this action took place that if adecent offer was not made to members then we could have a situation where students' graduations could be in jeopardy. We are extremely considered, frustrated and bemused that the employers have allowed the dispute to rumble on as long as this. We first tried to get the pay claim addressed in October. The employers have been fully aware of the potential consequences of our action since then. Quite why they decided not to act during the last six months only they will be able to explain. We remain committed to resolving this dispute at the earliest opportunity and will meet with them whenever and wherever they like. We can only hope that they do value their staff and students enough to come back to the table to thrash out a deal."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a slight deviation from the student meeting last week where the pro-VC guaranteed that the exams will be going ahead. I'm just relieved that outdated papers aren't being used.

Jacqueline Pollock

5/16/2006 12:34 am  
Anonymous PS said...

According to Paul Hudson on Newsline last night, in some cases old exam papers are going to be used.

5/16/2006 9:28 am  

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