Coventry University strikes

Coventry University staff to walkout for almost three weeks of teaching in next two months

The 18 days of strike action are part of the biggest ever university strikes

Coventry University staff will go on strike for 18 days between February and March as part of an ongoing dispute between the University and College Union (UCU) and university bosses.

Coventry staff who are members of the UCU will walk out for 18 days worth of teaching, representing 41 per cent of the scheduled teaching period.

UCU members which include both lecturers as well as other university staff such as librarians were offered a pay rise “worth between four and five per cent” by the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) according to the union.

However, the union described the offer as “not enough”, saying staff want a “meaningful pay rise” given the cost-of-living crisis and an end to what it describes as “insecure contracts”.

The UCEA said the offer it made was worth up to seven per cent and in fact was being made six months early as a “direct response to current cost of living concerns”.

The UCU has warned university bosses “the clock is ticking” if they want to avoid “widespread disruption” this year.

The union also warned of further action in the form of an assessment and marking boycott which could be introduced in April, wrecking havoc on end of year exams and students submitting dissertations.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:”Today our union came together to back an unprecedented programme of escalating strike action. The clock is now ticking for the sector to produce a deal or be hit with widespread disruption.

“University staff dedicate their lives to education and they want to get back to work, but that will only happen if university vice-chancellors use the vast wealth of the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant insecure employment practices and devastating pension cuts. The choice is theirs.”

A Tab investigation last summer found Russell Group unis saved £11million in withheld pay whilst lecturers were on strike last university year.

The upcoming strike dates, which will take place before Easter, are to be confirmed next week.

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