It’s official: These are all the days uni lecturers are striking in February and March

Here we go again

The UCU has just confirmed all the dates lecturers will be striking in February and March this term.

This month, the UCU announced it will be striking for 18 days in February and March, as staff are in an ongoing campaign for better pay and pensions, among other things. Last week the union confirmed the strikes will be starting next week, Wednesday 1st February.

The 18 days of UCU strikes before Easter are spread across seven weeks – with 11 days of strike in February and seven in March.

The full dates uni lecturers and staff will be striking are:

• Week 1 – Wednesday 1 February

• Week 2 – Thursday 9 and Friday 10 February

• Week 3 – Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 February

•Week 4 – Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 February

• Week 5 – Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 February and Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March

• Week 6 – Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March

• Week 7 – Monday 20, Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 March

If all 18 days of strike action go ahead, it will be the biggest series of strikes ever to hit UK university campuses, the UCU says, with 70,000 lecturers at 150 unis around the country going on strike.

We have already seen three days of strikes at almost every university in the country before Christmas of this academic year, with the 18 days this term, if they go ahead, bringing the total up to 21 – over four weeks of teaching lost.

There were also up to 18 days of strike action at over 140 universities last academic year. A Tab investigation this summer found Russell Group unis saved £11million in withheld pay whilst lecturers were on strike last university year.

The UCU is campaigning for a meaningful pay rise to ease the cost of living crisis, the ending of use of insecure contracts, and are also demanding unis revoke cuts to pensions and restore benefits.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “The university sector in the UK has over £40bn sitting in reserves, but instead of using that vast wealth to deliver a cost-of-living pay rise and reverse devastating pension cuts, university vice-chancellors would rather force staff to take strike action and see campuses shut down.

“There is a clear route out of these disputes, but at present vice-chancellors lack the political will to take it. They are failing staff who want to get back to work, and students who want to get on with their studies.

“Students understand that staff working conditions are their learning conditions and we are proud to have their support in these disputes. A system that relies on low pay and the rampant use of insecure contracts is a system which fails everyone.

“A resolution can be reached, but that is in the gift of university vice-chancellors who need to urgently reassess their priorities and deliver a deal that benefits staff and students. From February, our union will begin reballoting its members to allow action to continue through the rest of the academic year, should they continue to drag their feet.”

Featured image via Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

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