UK university staff go on strike
58 UK universities will see staff going on strike from 1 to 3 December. This follows last year’s strikes, during which staff members from 78 universities went on strike for 14 days.
Their reasons for striking include pensions, pay and working conditions, issues which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pensions in the university sector are set to lower retirement income by 35 per cent, after what the University and College Union (UCU) has described as a ‘flawed valuation’ of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund at the start of the pandemic.
The UCU has stated that further action is ‘likely’ to occur if demands are not met.
The UCU has demanded a £2,500 pay rise for its members, alongside concrete solutions to ‘pay injustice’ and zero-hours contracts, and increased action on ‘unmanageable workloads’.
The UCU has stated that further action is ‘likely’ to occur if demands are not met and said that universities should ‘get around the table’.
Universities UK (UUK) has insisted that universities will ‘ensure that students can continue to learn’.
The University of Exeter’s UCU branch did not send the number of votes required to reach the threshold for strike action to take place, and therefore there will be no strike action at the university this term, though a re-ballot is likely to follow soon.
Editor: Orla Mackinnon