63 universities to be hit with strike action this month as UCU announces strike dates

8 March 2011

Well over a million students (1,241,655*) at 63 UK universities will be hit with strike action this month unless a dispute over changes to staff pensions can be resolved.

UCU today announced plans for strike action in Scotland on Thursday 17 March, in Wales on Friday 18 March, in Northern Ireland on Monday 21 March and in England on Tuesday 22 March. There will then be a second day of strike action across the UK on Thursday 24 March.
Last week UCU members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension scheme at 63 universities voted for strike action and action short of a strike. Taken overall, two-thirds (64.55%) of UCU members who voted, voted for strike action and over four-fifths (82.19%) voted for action short of a strike.
Following the result of the ballot, UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, wrote to the Employers Pension Forum (EPF) to request urgent talks through the arbitration service, ACAS, to resolve the dispute and avoid the first national strike action in universities for five years. The union has still not had a response from the employers, but said today it remained hopeful of talks and a resolution without the need for action.
Members at institutions that voted for action will be asked to strike against the detrimental proposals from university employers to reduce pension benefits and increase costs even though USS is in robust health. More information on the dispute can be found at: USS changes - key questions
The union said it had to act quickly as the employers plan to bring in the changes to the pension scheme on Friday 1 April.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'University staff really value their pension rights and have made their views of the detrimental changes crystal clear and if a settlement is not reached, they are prepared to strike to defend their pensions.
'Strike action is always a last resort and I am ready and willing to clear my diary to meet the employers through ACAS immediately. We can avoid widespread disruptions on campus, but both sides must be prepared to go that extra mile and move quickly. The ball is in the employers' court and we are still waiting for their response.'


* Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2011
The 63 institutions that voted in favour of strike action and will be hit by strike action on the issue of pensions are.
The University of Aberdeen
Aberystwyth University
University of Bangor
University of Bath
Queen's University of Belfast
University of London, Birkbeck College
The University of Birmingham
University of Bradford
University of Bristol
Brunel University
University of Cambridge
Cardiff University
City University
Courtauld Institute of Art
Cranfield University
The University of Dundee
Durham University
University of East Anglia
University of Edinburgh
University of Essex
University of Exeter
The University of Glasgow
University of London, Goldsmiths
Heriot-Watt University
The University of Hull
Imperial College London
University of London, Institute of Education
The University of Kent
King's College London
University of Wales Lampeter
University of Lancaster
The University of Leeds
University of Leicester
University of Liverpool
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
London School of Economics
Loughborough University
The University of Manchester
The University of Nottingham
Open University
University of Oxford
University of London, Queen Mary
University of Reading
Royal College of Art
University of London, Royal Holloway
The University of Salford
University of London, School of Pharmacy
University of London, Senate House
The University of Sheffield
University of London, SOAS
University of Southampton
University of St Andrews
The University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of Surrey
University of Sussex
Swansea University
University of Ulster
University College London
University of Warwick (strike dates 17 and 24 March)
University of York

Last updated: 11 December 2015