More than 70,000 lecturers and other staff at 150 universities to STRIKE in dispute over pay

The staff will strike for three days later this month, the University and College Union announced

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More than 70,000 lecturers and other staff at 150 universities will strike for three days later this month in a dispute over pay, working conditions and pensions, the University and College Union announced.

The University and College Union (UCU) said the strikes – on November 24, 25 and 30 – will be the biggest ever to hit UK universities and could impact 2.5 million students.

The union said disruption can be avoided if employers make improved offers, but warned that strike action will escalate in the new year alongside a marking and assessment boycott if the dispute is not resolved.

More than 70,000 lecturers and other staff at 150 universities will strike for three days later this month
More than 70,000 lecturers and other staff at 150 universities will strike for three days later this month

Union members will also begin industrial action short of strike action from November 23, which includes working to rule, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

The strikes come after UCU members overwhelmingly voted in favour of industrial action last month in two national ballots over pay and working conditions as well as pensions.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Campuses across the UK are about to experience strike action on a scale never seen before. 70,000 staff will walk out and make clear they refuse to accept falling pay, cuts to pensions and insecure employment.

“This is not a dispute about affordability – it is about choices. Vice-chancellors are choosing to pay themselves hundreds of thousands of pounds whilst forcing our members onto low paid and insecure contracts that leave some using foodbanks.

"They choose to hold billions in surpluses whilst slashing staff pensions.

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

"If university vice-chancellors don’t get serious, our message is simple – this bout of strike action will be just the beginning.”