Universities face eight days of strikes over pensions and pay

Universities in the UK are facing eight days of strikes starting this month, the University and College Union (UCU) has announced.

The strike centres on the changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

From 25 November 60 universities will be affected by strike action.

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary said on their website: “The first wave of strikes will hit universities later this month unless the employers start talking to us seriously about how they are going to deal with rising pension costs and declining pay conditions.”

Check out the map below to see which universities are going to be affected by the strike.

Update: 5 December

At the end of the strikes, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Universities’ refusal to move the dispute forward is incredibly frustrating for staff and for students. You cannot refuse to talk about pay, yet say you want to talk about closing pay gaps that exist for women and BME staff, or to look at casualisation and how people are stuck in poorly-paid roles.

“The disputes cover the key problems for staff working in universities and they must all be properly addressed. The growing number of vice-chancellors who have joined their staff on picket lines or said they want to do more but can’t intervene in a national dispute need to step up to the plate.

“The employers’ side need pragmatic and sensible vice-chancellors to come forward and start setting out practical ways to work with us to resolve these disputes. Staff are not making unreasonable demands and they deserve basic levels to be established so we can build on them going forward. None of this cannot be achieved by refusing to talk about the key issue of pay.”

Words: Hannah Wilson | Featured image: Wikipedia