Strike Action
UCU Confirm Three Day Strike Action To Begin In December

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UCU have confirmed that 58 universities, including Lancaster University, will be hit with three days of strike action from Wednesday 1st December to Friday 3rd December, in response to the two separate ballots: pensions cuts and pay & working conditions.

These strikes are accompanied by future UCU intentions to escalate its dispute if employers fail to make improvements; universities may see a continuation of industrial action into next term.

With the likelihood of industrial action continuing into Spring, mandate reballots will reopen giving other branches the opportunity to join the action.

Last week, the UCU attempted to negotiate with Universities UK and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, writing to employer representatives to set out how University Management could avoid strike action before Christmas.

UCU laid out their terms as follows: pension cuts to be revoked, employers to improve their pay offer and commitment to meaningful agreements, action against casualisation, further improvements in workload and equality in pay.

However, these have all been refused and issues including casualisation failed to even been acknowledged.

As well as strike action, 64 universities, including Lancaster University, will also have a mandate to take action short of a strike. Hence, also beginning on the 1st December, staff will be working strictly to contract and refusing any additional duties.

This is set to go on indefinitely for the five months staff have a mandate to take industrial action for.

UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, has given the following statement in response to these decisions:

“Strikes over three consecutive days are set to hit university campuses next month unless employers get round the table and take staff concerns over pension cuts, pay and working conditions seriously.”

JO GRADY, UCU GENERAL SECRETARY

“A resolution to this dispute is simple. But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during the pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with reballots and further industrial action.”

JO GRADY, UCU GENERAL SECRETARY

On the front of student solidary, National Union of Students President, Larissa Kennedy, makes note of students, “rich history of standing shoulder to shoulder with university staff, who have seen their pensions, pay and conditions slashed in recent years” and urges for this to continue, issuing the following statement:

“With Vice Chancellors’ average total pay packets rising to £269,000 per year, it’s clear employers can afford to resolve their dispute with UCU over staff pay, which has fallen by an average of 20% in real terms since 2009.”

LARISSA KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS

“Staff teaching conditions are student learning conditions, and we mustn’t forget many postgraduate students on casualised teaching contracts will be striking.”

LARISSA KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS

“The onus for minimising disruption for students lies with university bosses: they must come back to the table to address the clear issues in how higher education is currently run.”

LARISSA KENNEDY, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF STUDENTS
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