UCU outlines how to avoid pre-Christmas strikes

UCU General Secretary has recommended strike action this term.

On the 8th of November, the University and College Union (UCU) wrote to the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities UK (UUK), outlining what university vice-chancellors would have to do to avoid pre-Christmas strikes.

In both letters, UCU General Secretary Dr Jo Grady has written she “will be recommending a programme of strike action this term.”

UCEA represents universities in pay and working condition negotiations. On 18th October they issued a statement refusing to negotiate on casualization or make improved pay offers.  This week, the UCU outlined  the following demands for employers:

  1. Improving their pay offer; and
  2. Committing to meaningful agreements and action on casualization, workload, and equality pay gaps.

The National Union for Students has supported the UCU, calling working conditions “untenable.”

The UUK represents university leaders regarding pension schemes and has this year announced a 35 per cent cut in pension schemes.  The UCU, through General Secretary Dr Jo Grady, has written to the UUK to ask for employers to be consulted on the following points:

  1. Withdrawing their current un-agreed detrimental changes to members’ pensions;
  2. Whether they would be prepared to pay higher contributions for a fixed period of time to allow a negotiated settlement; and
  3. To call publicly for a 2021 valuation.

So far, there has been no response from either the UUK or the UCEA with regards to Monday’s letters.

More information on the strikes is to follow this week. The UCU’s Higher Education Committee met yesterday (12/11) regarding the scale of action, escalation and re-balloting strategies, and dates of action according to the UCU website, details of which will be communicated to members over the next week. 

Feature Image Credits: Cambridge UCU on Facebook