Staff to strike at 47 English universities in pensions row

21 March 2011 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Members of UCU at 47 English universities will be taking strike action across England tomorrow (Tuesday 22 March) in a row about changes to their pension scheme.

The dispute centres around attempts to raise the retirement age, increase contributions for members and bring an end to the final salary element of the scheme. UCU members in Scotland and Wales went on strike on Thursday 17 March and Friday 18 March, respectively, and their colleagues in Northern Ireland are taking strike action today (Monday). There will be UK-wide action on Thursday 24 March.

The union said today that it shared students' frustrations that the employers were refusing to come back to the negotiating table and that the strike action now looked inevitable. The National Union of Students has written to the employers urging them to join UCU for talks and to try and avoid strike action.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'University staff really value their pension rights and have made it clear from the start of this dispute that if the employers were not prepared to negotiate then we would be left with little option but to take strike action.

'Strike action is always a last resort and we have always wanted to meet the employers to avoid widespread disruption. However, both sides had to be prepared to go that extra mile and the employers clearly weren't. I share the frustration that students must be feeling at the employers' intransigence.'

More on the first UK-wide strike action by lecturers for five years can be found here.

The full list of universities where UCU members are on strike tomorrow and Thursday over changes to the USS pension fund: University of Bath; University of London, Birkbeck College; The University of Birmingham; University of Bradford; University of Bristol; Brunel University; University of Cambridge; City University; Courtauld Institute of Art; Cranfield University; University of Durham; University of East Anglia; University of Essex; University of Exeter; University of London, Goldsmiths; The University of Hull; Imperial College London; University of London, Institute of Education; The University of Kent; King's College London; University of Lancaster; The University of Leeds; University of Leicester; University of Liverpool; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; London School of Economics; Loughborough University; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; The University of Manchester; The University of Nottingham; Open University; University of Oxford; University of London, Queen Mary; University of Reading; University of London, Royal Holloway; The University of Salford; University of London, School of Pharmacy; University of London, Senate House; The University of Sheffield; University of London, SOAS; University of Southampton; University of Surrey; University of Sussex; University College London; University of Warwick*; University of York

* Warwick out on 17 (Scottish day) and 22 March because of term dates