Fighting fund banner


UK's biggest ever university strikes as staff begin 14 days of walkouts on Thursday

17 February 2020

UCU members at 74^ universities will begin 14 days of strikes on Thursday (20 February) in the largest wave of strikes ever seen on UK campuses.

The full strike dates* are:

Week one - Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
Week two - Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
Week three - Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
Week four - Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

The disputes centre on the sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and rising costs for members, and on universities' failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days of strikes before Christmas. They will be joined this time around by staff at another 14 institutions, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action.

The number of universities being hit by the action is the largest since a nationwide two-day strike in 2016, while the number of strike days is unprecedented. Following the eight-day walkout before Christmas, this latest round of 14 strike days means the total number of walkouts will be 22 by March; higher than the previous record of 14 days in 2018.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'It is incredibly frustrating that UCU members are being forced to walk out again to secure fair pay, conditions and pensions. This unprecedented level of action shows just how angry staff are at their universities' refusal to negotiate properly with us.

'If universities want to avoid further disruption then they need to get their representatives back to the negotiating table with serious options to resolve these disputes.'

* There are some variations on dates to accommodate things like reading weeks. Eighteen of the 74 branches are tweaking the dates they are on strike.

^ The universities affected by strike action from Thursday 20 February

Both disputes (47):

1.   Aston University

2.   Bangor University

3.   Cardiff University

4.   University of Durham

5.   Heriot-Watt University

6.   Loughborough University

7.   Newcastle University

8.   Open University

9.   University of Bath

10. University of Dundee

11. University of Leeds

12. University of Manchester

13. University of Sheffield

14. University of Nottingham

15. University of Stirling

16. University College London

17. University of Birmingham

18. University of Bradford

19. University of Bristol

20. University of Cambridge

21. University of Edinburgh

22. University of Exeter

23. University of Essex

24. University of Glasgow

25. University of Lancaster

26. University of Leicester

27. City University

28. Goldsmiths College

29. Queen Mary University of London

30. Royal Holloway

31. University of Reading

32. University of Southampton

33. University of St Andrews

34. Courtauld Institute of Art

35. University of Strathclyde

36. University of Wales

37. University of Warwick

38. University of York

39. University of Liverpool

40. University of Sussex

41. University of Aberdeen

42. University of Ulster

43. Queen's University Belfast

44. Birkbeck College, University of London

45. SOAS, University of London

46. University of Oxford

47. University of East Anglia


Pay and conditions dispute only (22):

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.   Sheffield Hallam University

12.   University of Brighton

13.   University of Kent

14.   Bath Spa University

15.   Royal College of Art

16.   University of Huddersfield

17.   University of Winchester

18.   University of East London

19.   Leeds Trinity University

20.   UAL University of the Arts London

21.   De Montfort University

22.   University of Greenwich


USS pensions dispute only (5):

1.    Scottish Association of Marine Science

2.    Institute for Development Studies

3.    Keele University

4.    King's College London

5.    Imperial College London

Last updated: 3 December 2021