UCLan, Lancaster, Edge Hill, Salford, Liverpool, Bolton, and Manchester Met among 140 universities to strike

Staff at 140 universities across the UK are to strike for five days later this month in the long-running dispute over pay and working conditions.
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The University and College Union (UCU) said its members at 136 universities will walk out for five consecutive days from September 25, while strikes will hit four Scottish universities on slightly different dates to coincide with local action by other unions.

The union also announced it had withdrawn its marking and assessment boycott which started in April.

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The UCU said it will begin reballoting its members at universities over industrial action, warning this will allow it to escalate the dispute by taking further action this year and into 2024.

Staff are continuing other forms of industrial action, including working to rule, not undertaking any voluntary activities, and not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action.

The union said an imposed pay rise for this year was worth 5% for most of its members.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.

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“It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected.

Universities are richer than ever, generating tens of billions of pounds in income and hoarding billions more in cash deposits, but they won’t give staff their fair share.

“A pay award of 5% is a huge real-terms pay cut and is substantially lower than school teachers received.

“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer.

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“We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during freshers’ week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.”

The union is seeking an above inflation pay rise, saying that pay has fallen inn real terms by quarter since 2009.

In response to UCU’s announcement to end the marking and assessment boycott Raj Jethwa, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, said: “UCEA welcomes the vote by UCU members to end the marking and assessment boycott.

“There is now an urgency for UCU members who had participated in the boycott to prioritise marking for those remaining students who have still not received the necessary results to graduate in 2023-24.

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“It is, therefore, disappointing that, at the same time as ending the boycott, UCU is attempting to inflict maximum damage before its mandate expires, by calling strike action for late September.

“UCU is intentionally seeking to target the important welcome weeks which many institutions provide during this vital time for new students. It is disappointing that UCU seeks to disrupt welcome weeks instead of providing support for new students.

“UCU must now seriously reconsider this response from their members as their HEC (executive) tries to launch another ballot for industrial action for the new academic year.

“Nevertheless, UCEA welcomes UCU’s acceptance of our proposals for independently-facilitated talks on a review of sector finances and further talks on the important pay-related matters raised by the UCU and the other unions.”

These are the universities taking strike action:

- Aberdeen, The University of

- Abertay University

- Aberystwyth University

- Anglia Ruskin University

- Aston University

- Arts University Bournemouth

- Bangor University

- Bath University of

- Bath Spa University

- Bedfordshire University of

- Birkbeck, University of London

- Birmingham, The University of

- Birmingham Newman University

- Bishop Grosseteste University

- Buckinghamshire New University

- Bolton The University of

- Bournemouth University

- Bradford, University of

- Bristol, University of

- Brunel University

- Cambridge, University of

- Canterbury Christ Church University

- Cardiff, University of

- Cardiff Metropolitan University

- Chester, University of

- Chichester, University of

- City, University of London

- Courtauld Institute of Art

- Coventry University

- Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

- Cumbria University of

- Derby University of

- De Montfort University

- Durham University

- East London, University of

- Edge Hill University

- Edinburgh, University of

- Edinburgh Napier University

- Essex, University of

- Exeter, University of

- Falmouth University

- Gloucestershire, University of

- Wrexham Glyndwr University

- Goldsmiths, University of London

- Greenwich, University of

- Glasgow School of Art

- Harper Adams University

- Heriot-Watt University

- Hertfordshire, University of

- Huddersfield, The University of

- Hull, The University of

- Kings College London

- Keele University

- Kent, The University of

- Kingston University

- Lancaster, University of

- Leeds, The University of

- Leeds Beckett University

- Leeds Trinity University

- Leicester, University of

- Lincoln, University of

- Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts LIPA

- Liverpool, University of

- Liverpool Hope University

- Liverpool John Moores University

- London Metropolitan University City Campus

- Loughborough University

- London South Bank University Essex

- London School of Economics

- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

- Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

- Manchester, University of

- Manchester Metropolitan University

- Middlesex University

- Newcastle University

- Northampton, The University of

- Northumbria University

- Nottingham, The University of

- Norwich University of the Arts

- Open University

- Oxford, University of

- Oxford Brookes University

- University of Plymouth

- Plymouth Marjon University

- Portsmouth, University of

- Queen Mary University of London

- Queen Margaret University

- Royal College of Art

- Royal College of Music

- Royal Holloway, University of London

- Robert Gordon, The University of

- Roehampton University

- Rose Bruford College

- Royal Academy of Music

- Royal Agricultural University

- Royal Northern College of Music

- Royal Veterinary College, University of London

- Salford, The University of

- Senate House University of London

- Sheffield, The University of

- Sheffield Hallam University

- SOAS, University of London

- Solent University

- South Wales, University of

- Southampton, University of

- St Andrews, University of

- St Georges, University of London

- St Mary's University Twickenham

- St Mary's University College Belfast

- Stirling, The University of

- Stranmillis University College

- Suffolk, University of

- Sunderland, University of

- Surrey, University of

- Sussex, University of

- Swansea University

- Teesside, University of

- Trinity Laban

- University of the Arts London

- University College Birmingham

- University for the Creative Arts

- University College London

- Central Lancashire, University of

- Ulster University

- University of Wales Trinity Saint David

- Warwick, University of

- West London, University of

- West of England, University of the

- West of Scotland, University of the

- Westminster, University of

- Winchester, The University of

- Wolverhampton, University of

- Worcester, University of

- Writtle University College

- York, University of

- York St John University