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UCU Official Dispute

University strikes ON this week, union confirms

14 February 2023



The University and College Union (UCU) confirmed three consecutive days of strike action will go ahead from Tuesday 14 February at 150 universities whilst talks with the employers over pay and working conditions continue.

Over 70,000 staff are striking at 150 universities on Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February. The disputes are over pay and conditions, and also pensions.

UCU entered Acas negotiations with the employer representative on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February. The union is calling for employers to make a well-rounded offer, including commitments on casualisation and workload, as well as pay, which it can put to members.

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The full list of institutions that will face strike action is available here. All pickets start at 9am on each strike day unless otherwise stated. Picket locations are available here.


  • there are 1,865,000 undergraduate students and 685,000 postgraduate students studying at the universities facing strike action
  • in the pay and working conditions dispute, UCU is in dispute with 145 institutions. The union's demands include a meaningful pay rise to help staff deal with the cost of living crisis, an agreed framework to eliminate insecure employment practices such as temporary and zero-hours contracts, and action to address dangerously high workloads. Since 2009/10 staff pay has declined in value by 25% relative to RPI, due to a series of below-inflation pay awards
  • in the pension dispute, UCU is in dispute with 67 institutions. The union is demanding employers withdraw their cuts to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and restore benefits to 2021 levels. Last year employer representative Universities UK (UUK) pushed through cuts that will see a typical member lose 35% of their future guaranteed retirement income. The cuts were made after a valuation of the scheme in March 2020 reported a deficit of £14bn. However, USS is now performing so well that the deficit has disappeared with the scheme now reporting a £1.8bn surplus, and data released by the trustee shows pension benefits can be restored for lower contributions and still leave the scheme in surplus
  • using HESA data UCU calculates that for 2021/22 the higher education sector holds £44bn in reserves and has an income of £42.4bn.


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Last updated: 14 February 2023