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UCU Official Dispute

UCU launches reballot as it confirms strikes to go ahead this week

13 February 2023

UCU launches reballot as it confirms strikes to go ahead this week:

  • vice-chancellors urged to 'come out of hiding' and use the sector's 'vast wealth' to resolve disputes

  • UCU currently in talks with employers via Acas.

UCU has confirmed it will reballot 70,000 members to allow industrial action to continue in universities for the rest of the academic year if employers refuse to meet staff demands over pay, conditions and pensions.

The union made the announcement after confirming that strike action will go ahead this week at 150 universities on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Vice-chancellors have been urged to 'come out of hiding' and use the sector's 'vast wealth' to resolve the disputes.

Under anti- trade union laws, industrial action mandates must be refreshed every six months. The union served notice to employers for the reballot earlier today with ballot papers arriving on doorsteps from 22 February.

University staff have already taken six days of strike action this academic year. After this week, staff are expected to walk out for a further 10 days.

The union is currently in talks with employer body the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) via the conciliation service Acas.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'University staff are preparing once again to vote yes in an industrial action ballot which could see the rest of the academic year impacted by strikes. That we have ended up in this place is entirely the fault of university bosses who refuse to use the sector's over £40bn reserves to meet staff demands.

'Staff are striking because they are sick of being denied a decent pay rise, secure employment, and proper pensions. And students are standing with us because they know that staff working conditions are their learning conditions.

'Our union is determined to reach a negotiated settlement which allows staff to get back to work and students to continue their studies uninterrupted. But that can only happen if vice chancellors come out of hiding and use a fraction of the sector's vast wealth to make serious, well-rounded offers to staff.'

Last updated: 14 February 2023