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Strike action over pay and conditions continues next week at UK universities

25 February 2022

UCU members at 63 universities will continue strike action from Monday 28 February in their fight against deteriorating pay & working conditions.

This dispute is over a 25.5% real terms pay cut over the past 13 years, unmanageable workloads, pay inequality and the use of exploitative and insecure contracts, which are rife across the sector.  

Staff, who have already taken two days of strike action over pay and working conditions this year, will walkout on Monday 28 February, Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March.

The final day of strike action next week has been called to coincide with the student strike on Wednesday 2 March, organised by the National Union of Students (NUS). The NUS is supporting UCU's industrial action and is calling for better working conditions, pay and pensions for staff. 

Staff are also engaged in action short of a strike (ASOS) which involves working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues, not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action, or undertaking any voluntary activities.  

To resolve the pay & working conditions dispute UCU is demanding a £2.5k pay increase for all staff, as well as action to tackle unmanageable workloads, pay inequality and the use of insecure and exploitative contracts 

Staff at 68 universities have been taking strike action over pay and working conditions and cuts to pensions. 

The union said universities can more than afford to meet the demands of staff, however employer body the University and Colleges Employers Association, continues to refuse to negotiate. University finance figures, from 2019/20, show total income across the sector was £41.9bn with reserves of £46.8bn.  

UCU's higher education committee is meeting today (Friday) to consider the next steps in both disputes and is due to make a further announcement early next week. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'This continued industrial action will hit 63 universities and the responsibility of vice-chancellors who have done nothing to address falling pay, pay inequality, the rampant use of insecure contracts and unmanageable workloads.  

'Our union has offered simple solutions that would avert industrial action and benefit the sector in the long-term, but time and again employers have chosen to continue pushing staff to breaking point, while the sector continues to bring in tens of billions of pounds each year.  

'Students are standing by our members because they know university staff are overworked and underpaid. And they know that this sector, which is awash with money, can afford to treat its workers with dignity.' 

Last updated: 28 February 2022