It’s official: Lecturers at almost 70 unis will be striking for 10 days in February

This will be the second wave of strikes this academic year

Lecturers and university staff at 68 unis will be going on strike for up to 10 days in February, UCU has just announced.

Over 50,000 uni staff are set to strike in a “fight for the future of higher education”, in a walkout which could impact over a million students.

The UCU is demanding for pension cuts to be reversed, and for all uni staff to have a pay rise of £2.5k.

Staff at 39 unis are striking over both disputes. Staff at five unis are striking over the pension dispute only, and staff at 24 are striking over pay only.

The exact days lecturers will be striking are:

Monday 14 to Friday 18 February – pension dispute only

• Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February – both pensions and pay disputes

Monday 28 February to Wednesday 2 March – pay dispute only

Further strike action may also happen – preparations are being made for a UK-wide marking and assessment boycott, UCU says.

This comes after three days of staff strikes earlier this academic year, in December.

You can see a full list of universities and whether staff will be striking in February over pensions, pay, or both, here.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “It is a damning indictment of the way our universities are managed that staff are being left with no option but to walk out again. For a sector that is worth tens of billions of pounds and enjoys record levels of student growth it is beyond disgraceful that in return staff get vicious pension cuts, falling pay and are pushed to breaking point under deteriorating working conditions.

“Time is quickly running out for vice chancellors to avert strike action, but it can be done. Staff need a proper pay rise, action to tackle insecure contracts, unsafe workloads and pay inequality, and for devastating pension cuts to be revoked. Any disruption that occurs will be the clearest indication yet that university bosses don’t value their staff.

“This wave of strike action is a fight for the future of higher education and staff are proud to stand alongside students in the fight for an education system that treats students and staff with respect.”

NUS national president Larissa Kennedy said: “Students’ unions and student organisers have a proud tradition of standing in solidarity with staff, and we saw this in action up and down the country in December.

“As students, we are acutely aware that staff working conditions are our learning conditions. The same education system that forces students into food banks exploits staff on insecure contracts, with some even having to sleep in tents while they mark our essays. The same system that produces awarding gaps that impact students of colour produces pay gaps that impact staff of colour.

“We will continue to stand with staff in their struggles because nothing about this broken system is inevitable. At NUS, we’re calling on students to walk out of the education that doesn’t work for any of us on March 2, and come together to re-imagine a new vision for education.”

Featured Image credit: @gabrielrahman__

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