The University and College Union (UCU) has renewed its strikes mandate for another 6 months.
After two months of university term time already disrupted by strikes and very little ground made to improve pay and working conditions for university staff, it’s been announced that there’ll be more strikes over the next six months.
Once again, the strikes will impact 150 universities across the UK after 85.6% of UCU members voted for strike action to continue over pay and working conditions while 89% voted for strikes to continue over pensions.
These votes not only include teaching staff but other staff working at universities in other roles too.
University strikes will continue‼️ How do you feel about this? Will you be impacted? Click the link in our bio to find out more🙌♬ evergreen – favsoundds
Why have the UCU renewed the strike mandate?
After claims that negotiations had made “significant progress across a range of issues” and seven days of strike action were cancelled, many expected a resolution to be reached that would prevent further strike action from taking place, however this does not seem to be the case anymore.
In fact, the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has said that this vote to continue strike action could impact future negotiations.
The UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, has said that “this dispute is not over” after negotiations had so far failed to offer university staff a pay increase of more than 5-8% over the 2023-24 year. Unions have responded saying that this would actually mean a pay cut for staff. That’s why union members have decided that further strike action could be necessary.
When will university staff strike?
While union members have voted to renew the mandate for strikes for another six months, no strike dates have been announced as of yet.
This vote means that staff have the option to strike again over the next six months should they feel it to be necessary, for example, should negotiations fail to come to a resolution.
While we know that many students support the strikes, we understand that this news might be stressful, so try not to worry too much yet. There is still hope that the strike action won’t be needed as headway has been made around ending zero-hour contracts and restoring pensions.
We also know that many universities are putting in place rules to ensure that any lost teaching time is caught up on which should hopefully mean that the impact isn’t too great on students.
We’ll keep you updated as more news comes in about potential strike action in the next six months, but for now, you can start gearing up for your summer term as normal.
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