University Union set to strike for 18 days

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Approximately 70,000 employees at 150 universities in the UK will go on strike for 18 days in February and March, according to a UCU announcement. 

These are to be in protest of salary, working conditions, and concerns over pensions.

The exact dates have yet to be determined but the UCU has said they will announce this in the following weeks.

This follows three days of strike action in November.

The union are calling to stop the use of unstable contracts as well as a significant pay increase to address the cost-of-living crisis.

After more than ten years of pay rises below the rate of inflation, employers applied a wage increase of 3% this year.

A pay offer made during discussions with employers, worth between 4-5 per cent, was insufficient. In response to the offer, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “‘Let me get straight to the point – this is not enough.

“It doesn’t cover last year and it doesn’t do enough to mitigate either the cost-of-living crisis or the years of pay decline our members have suffered.

“I will be recommending to our higher education committee that we reject this offer and seek further improvements.”

In regards to pensions, the union is demanding that cuts made last year are to be revoked as members are to lose approximately 35 per cent of their funds.

On the announcement that 18 days of action would go ahead, Grady said: “’Today our union came together to back an unprecedented programme of escalating strike action.

“The clock is now ticking for the sector to produce a deal or be hit with widespread disruption.

“University staff dedicate their lives to education and they want to get back to work, but that will only happen if university vice-chancellors use the vast wealth of the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant insecure employment practices and devastating pension cuts.

“The choice is theirs.”

Featured Image Credit: UCU

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