Time's up. Action has begun.
But it's not too late for employers to end this!

Why we're taking action

Why we're taking action

25 November 2021

UCU members are taking action in two separate disputes.

UCU members are taking action over falling pay, the gender and ethnic pay gap, precarious employment practices, and unsafe workloads.

University employers consistently fail to address these issues. We need them to:

  • address the scandal of the gender, ethnic, and disability pay gap
  • end contract casualisation and job insecurity
  • tackle the rising workloads driving our members to breaking point
  • increase to all spine points on the national pay scale of £2,500.

Important Check our our HE pay modeller to find out how much HE pay has been cut over the last 12 years.

Since 2009, university staff pay has effectively been cut by nearly 20% in real terms, while staff are being asked to work harder and longer than ever before. The employers' own analysis highlights that women, black and minority ethnic, and disabled staff experience significant pay discrimination. Casual contracts remain entrenched, and 3,000 university staff were made redundant during the pandemic. Yet the university employers are refusing to commit themselves to meaningful action on any of these appalling conditions.

UCU members want to be at work, not on strike, but the future of higher education is under threat. Growing inequality affects both students and staff - poor working conditions mean poor learning conditions.

UCU members continue to ask our employers and university leaders to work with us, end the strikes, and avoid widespread disruption for students, staff, their families, and the wider community.

It is not too late for the employers to improve their offer, in order to seek a resolution to this dispute.

UCU members are taking action to protect our guaranteed pension, the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

University employers are ignoring pension experts and want us to pay more based on a flawed way of assessing the schem

Important Check our our UUK pension change modeller to find out how much USS pensions will be impacted by UUK's changes.

We are calling on our employers to work with us to avoid future changes to benefits and increases in member contributions, and we call on USS to issue a new evidence-based valuation of the scheme.

Since 2011, university staff's USS pension has effectively been cut by £240,000. Pensions are not a gift from our employers: university staff earned every penny. In the latest cycle of this damaging dispute, employers are proposing further cuts - amounting to 35% - to staff's guaranteed pension.

UCU tried to suggest solutions, but employers are refusing to engage. Combined with the fact that, since 2009, staff pay has been cut by nearly 20% in real terms, we are not only losing our dignity at work, but also our dignity in retirement.

TAKING ACTION IS ALWAYS THE LAST RESORT

UCU members want to be at work, not on strike. The last year has been hard enough for students and staff and UCU members continue to endure spiralling workloads, casual contracts, inequality and and stagnating pay, as well as constant risk from Covid-19, and many employers have also spent this time planning cuts that threaten the USS pension scheme's viability, with more and more staff likely to leave the scheme.

UCU members continue to ask our employers and university leaders to work with us, end the strikes, and avoid widespread disruption for students, staff, their families, and the wider community.

THE ACTION CAN BE RESOLVED

It is not too late for the employers to work with us to seek a resolution to these disputes. There is still time to negotiate and end the action.

UCU members are determined to continue our action until long-term and lasting solutions can be found.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR STRIKE

We ask you to stand with us:

Last updated: 25 November 2021