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University staff on strike at 10 universities next week

8 July 2016

UCU members at 10 universities will be on strike across the UK next week as part of a wave of nationwide strikes in a row over pay and conditions.

The week's action kicks off at the University of Exeter in the south west and Edge Hill University in the north. Members at the Open University will walk out on Tuesday as will colleagues in Bournemouth, London and Keele.

Roehampton University in London and the University of Teesside will be hit on Wednesday, with members walking out at Canterbury Christ Church University on Thursday and the week's action concluding in Swansea on Friday.

The institutions where action is taking place this week are:

Monday 11 July

Edge Hill University

University of Exeter

Tuesday 12 July

Open University

Rose Burford College

Arts University Bournemouth

Keele University

Wednesday 13 July

Roehampton University

University of Teesside

Thursday 14 July

Canterbury Christ Church University

Friday 15 July

Swansea University

The dispute has arisen following a pay offer of just 1.1% from the universities' employers, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association. UCU said universities can afford to pay more and the offer did little to address the real-terms pay cut of 14.5% that members have suffered since 2009.

The squeeze on staff salaries comes despite vice-chancellors enjoying a 6.1% pay hike. The union has also called for universities to commit to closing the gender pay gap and reducing the proportion of staff on casual and zero-hours contracts. On average, female academics are paid £6,103 less a year than their male counterparts, while 49% of university teachers are on insecure contracts.

Since 2010 the amount spent on staff by universities as a percentage of total income has dropped by 3%. However, the total of cash reserves has rocketed by 72% to stand at over £21bn.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Our strike action is a result of the employers' failure to deal with the declining real-terms pay of university staff or tackle the problems of growing numbers of zero-hours contracts and the persistent gender pay gap. Members have been left with no alternative but to take this action.'

Follow the hashtag #fairpayinHE on Twitter for all the latest news on the dispute.

Last updated: 12 July 2016