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More universities to be balloted for strikes

26 November 2019

Even more universities could face disruption in the new year if disputes over pensions and over pay and conditions are not resolved

UCU members at 12 universities are going to be asked to back strike action in ballots that open on Wednesday 4 December and close on Tuesday 28 January. UCU members at 60 universities* walked out yesterday in the first of eight days of strikes that finish on Wednesday 4 December.

The branches being reballoted are:

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Kent
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • SOAS
  • University of Worcester
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Arts London
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • Falmouth University
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Surrey.

The union has warned that if the disputes cannot be resolved then more strikes are likely in the new year, with more members eligible to take part and more universities and students affected. UCU said even more branches could be reballoted in January.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'We have been clear from the outset that UCU members are prepared to take serious and sustained action to defend their pay and conditions, as well as their pensions. Thirteen branches have already come back to us and said they want to be balloted again so they can join the action should further strikes be required after Christmas.

'The incredible support for the strikes yesterday and today can leave no university in any doubt how serious our members are and it is now time for them to come back to negotiations with serious proposals to resolve these disputes.'

Yesterday, the union reported strong support for the strikes and that over 3,500 people had joined the union in the three weeks after it announced the current round of strikes.

Last month, UCU members backed strike action in two disputes, one on changes to the USS pension scheme and one on universities' failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

Overall, 79% of UCU members who voted backed strike action in the ballot over changes to pensions. In the ballot on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads, 74% of members polled backed strike action.

* UK universities affected by strike action from Monday 25 November

Both disputes (42):

1.     Aston University

2.     Bangor University

3.     Cardiff University

4.     University of Durham

5.     Heriot-Watt University

6.     Loughborough University

7.     Newcastle University

8.     The Open University

9.    The University of Bath

10.  The University of Dundee

11.  The University of Leeds

12.  The University of Manchester

13.  The University of Sheffield

14.  University of Nottingham

15.  The University of Stirling

16.  University College London

17.  The University of Birmingham

18.  The University of Bradford

29.  The University of Bristol

20.  The University of Cambridge

21.  The University of Edinburgh

22.  The University of Exeter

23.  The University of Essex

24.  The University of Glasgow

25.  The University of Lancaster

26.  The University of Leicester

27.  City University

28.  Goldsmiths College

39.  Queen Mary University of London

30.  Royal Holloway

31.  The University of Reading

32.  The University of Southampton

33.  The University of St Andrews

34.  Courtauld Institute of Art

35.  The University of Strathclyde

36.  The University of Wales

37.  The University of Warwick

38.  The University of York

49.  The University of Liverpool

40.  The University of Sussex

41.  The University of Ulster

42.  Queen's University Belfast

Pay and conditions dispute only (14):

1.     Bishop Grosseteste University

2.     Bournemouth University

3.     Edge Hill University

4.     Glasgow Caledonian University

5.     Glasgow School of Art

6.     Liverpool Hope University

7.     Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

8.     Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

9.     St Mary's University College, Belfast

10.  Roehampton University

11.  The University of Oxford

12.  Sheffield Hallam University

13.  The University of Brighton

14.  The University of Kent

USS pensions dispute only (4):

1.       Scottish Association of Marine Science

2.       The University of Aberdeen

3.       The University of East Anglia

4.       Institute for Development Studies

Last updated: 2 December 2019