It’s official: Lecturers will be striking for three days in December

They’ve finally confirmed the dates

58 universities will be hit with three days of strike action from Wednesday 1 December to Friday 3 December, it has been confirmed by UCU.

Earlier this month, lecturers at 58 universities around the UK voted to go on strike amid a wider dispute over pay and pensions.

The strikes have divided opinion on campus, with some students extremely angry after a year of online teaching and others are keen to support their lecturers’ fight against what they believe to be unfair working conditions. Universities minister Michelle Donelan has claimed strikes “will not help students in any way,”.

The vote was split into two separate ballots: one over pension cuts and one over pay and working conditions.

In the pension ballot, 76 per cent of UCU members who voted backed strike action and 88 per cent voted in favour of action short of strike. In the pay and working conditions ballot more than seven in 10 members who voted (70.1 per cent) backed strike action with 85 per cent voting for action short of strike. The National Union of Students (NUS) is backing staff who are taking industrial action.

As well as the three day walkout, staff at 64 universities have a mandate to take action short of strike. This will also begin on Wednesday 1 December and will include strictly working to contract and refusing any additional duties. This is set to go on indefinitely for the five months staff have a mandate to take industrial action for.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Strikes over three consecutive days are set to hit university campuses next month unless employers get round the table and take staff concerns over pension cuts, pay and working conditions seriously.

“UCU has repeatedly asked employers to meet with us to try to resolve these disputes. But while we set out pragmatic solutions that could halt widespread disruption to UK campuses, university bosses refuse to revoke unnecessary, swingeing pension cuts or even to negotiate on issues like casualisation and the unbearably high workloads that blight higher education.

“A resolution to this dispute is simple. But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during a pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with reballots and further industrial action.”

The full list of universities striking next month can be found here.

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Strikes and a pandemic ruined my uni experience. How dare lecturers go on strike again?