University staffs strike over pay and pensions in UK

UCU strikes
University staffs strike over pay and pensions in UK

Millions of students will be hit by three days of strikes on campuses across England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The University and College Union (UCU) are striking from the 1st to the 3rd of December. 58 universities across the UK are going on strike next week.

University and College Union (UCU) members agreed on taking action in November, and backed two separate ballots.

However, some universities are striking over pension cuts, others over pay and working conditions, but for the majority of those taking part, it’s both.

The Union asked for the decision to cut pensions by 35% to be revoked, and for a £2,500 pay increase for members. UCU also wanted employers to address issues such as unsafe workloads, equality pay gaps and to put an end to zero-hours contracts.

With the Union saying that employers are refusing to meet demands or even acknowledge the zero-hours contracts issue, members have warned more action could be “likely”. Speaking about strikes over pay last month, Raj Jethwa, chief executive of the Universities and College Employers Association (UCEA), said,

“Industrial action was aimed at harming students and was an unrealistic attempt to try to force 146 employers to reopen a concluded national pay round.”

What universities are striking?

In total, 33 universities will see strikes over both pay and pensions:

  • Aston University Birkbeck
  • University of London
  • Durham University
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Keele University
  • King’s College London
  • London School of Economics
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Loughborough University
  • Open University
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Soas, University of London
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The University of Dundee
  • The University of Kent
  • The University of Leeds
  • The University of Nottingham
  • The University of Sheffield
  • The University of Stirling
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Essex
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Lancaster
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Sussex
  • University of York
  • Queens University Belfast
  • University of Ulster

Another 21 will see strikes over pay only:

  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Greenwich University
  • Kingston University
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Roehampton University
  • Royal College of Art
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • The University of Manchester
  • The University of Northampton
  • The University of Salford
  • University of the Arts London
  • University College London
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • University of Leicester
  • Four will see strikes over pensions only:
  • Institute of Development Studies
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Bath
  • University of Reading

Staff at six institutions did vote for action over pay without striking, and would involve “strictly working to contract and refusing any additional duties.”

The six institutions are:

  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Bournemouth University
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
  • St Mary’s University College Belfast
  • University of Winchester