From Monday through Friday during the first week of term, the UCU had confirmed strike action over pay and pensions to be held across 140 UK universities. On Tuesday the 19th, the Exeter Branch of UCU (EUCU) reported the strike action to be called off after negotiations with senior management.
“As a group of workers dedicated toward advancing education and research, striking is never something members of the UCU take lightly. We are pleased in this instance that the planned strike could be averted.”Brian Rappert, EUCU President
In a statement issued to Exepose, EUCU President Brian Rappert, comments “As a group of workers dedicated toward advancing education and research, striking is never something members of the UCU take lightly. We are pleased in this instance that the planned strike could be averted.” He adds “As a union, we will continue to work locally and nationally to improve working conditions in Higher Education for the benefit of staff and students.”
A joint statement from the University states “we would like to thank the Committee of the Exeter UCU for their constructive engagement throughout this challenging period. We have committed to holding talks in October to take forward the elements of our Joint Statement and progress update, including consideration of pay and pay scales in the face of the financial challenges facing the University and the sector.”
The planned strike action was originally set to alleviate pay erosion and staff being shunted onto gig-economy contracts. UCU general secretary Jo Grady had written in a statement “[the UCU] has exposed once and for all a sector which would rather try and starve out its staff, undermine the integrity of degrees, and disrupt student’s learning that gives [educators] the pay and conditions that [they] deserve.”
This comes at a time directly following the end of the UCU’s Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) that affected students at the end of last term and into the Summer holidays. The University states that the MAB period ended on the 6th of September so all students who have been affected should receive their marks back by the end of the month.
This national strike action period is expected to end on the 30th of September.