Credit Rosie Hampton Twitter

UCU announces national strike dates

By Emma Padner

The University and College Union strikes will take place on campuses on 24 and 25 November with a national demonstration in London on 30 November.

The University and College Union announced today that every UK university will strike on 24 November, 25 November and 30 November. 

In a video on Twitter, UCU stated they hope to have the largest picket lines in UCU history at all UK universities on 24 and 25 November. The union plans to hold a demonstration in London on 30 November. The strike will include more than 70,000 staff at 150 universities in the UK in a fight for fair pay, working conditions, and pensions, according to the UCU website.

The UCU is striking in hope of a “meaningful pay rise” and “action to end the use of insecure contrats” to combat the current cost-of-living crisis. This year, employers implemented a 3% pay rise, according to the UCU website. The strikes come ahead of discussions and talks with employers. 

Jo Grady, the UCU general secretary stated on the UCU website that the pay and pension cuts and employment insecurity were not a matter of affordability, but of the Vice-chancellors choices.

“UCU members do not want to strike but are doing so to save the sector and win dignity at work,” Grady’s statement continues. “This dispute has the mass support of students because they know their learning conditions are our members’ working conditions.”

Last month, UCU members voted ‘yes’ to industrial action on a national ballot after pension cuts and attacks on pay and working conditions. The Vice-Chancellors have yet to make any offers that would improve these conditions. 

The union vote in favor of strike action in the pay and working condition ballot was 81.1%. For the pension ballot, the UCU yes vote for strike action was 84.9%. 

The National Union of Students voiced their support for the strikes on Twitter, posting “Students stand in solidarity with the 70,000 university staff across the UK who will strike later this month. Staff teaching conditions are students’ learning conditions, and we must fight together for a fairer, healthier education system for everyone who works and studies.”

Their statement of support called attention to the fact that this is the fifth consecutive year that government cuts to education have led to strike action on campuses. The NUS called for action from universities and employers to reach a meaningful agreement with the UCU members. 

“They have a responsibility to their staff and students to end unacceptable pay disparities for racialised staff, disabled staff, and women, and to protect staff pensions to that they can have a decent retirement,” the statement said. “As the workers of the future, students have everything to gain from UCU members winning this fight.”


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