Edinburgh University staff to strike at the end of November
Staff will walk out on the 24th, 25th and 30th of November
Staff at The University of Edinburgh have announced three days of strike action to take place at the end of November.
On the 24th, 25th and 30th of November, Edinburgh staff will join members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 150 universities across the UK in a walkout over pay, pensions and working conditions.
The union is demanding “a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and action to end the use of insecure contracts”.
2.5 million students could be impacted nationally in what is expected to be the largest ever strike in the sector.
It follows numerous staff walkouts over several years, as talks with senior university figures have failed to reach a conclusion on members’ demands. The UCU says the fresh round of action can be avoided if employers put improved offers on the table.
The UCU’s General Secretary, Jo Grady, says: “This is not a dispute about affordability – it is about choices. Vice-chancellors are choosing to pay themselves hundreds of thousands of pounds whilst forcing our members onto low paid and insecure contracts that leave some using foodbank.”
At Edinburgh, staff who teach subjects including Politics and History are expected to take part in the industrial action. In previous years, coursework assignments and end-of-semester exams have been adjusted to remove assessment of content that has not been taught.
The National Union of Students is backing the strike, with its vice president of higher education, Chloe Field, saying: “Students stand in solidarity with the 70,000 university staff across the UK who will strike later this month.
“Staff teaching conditions are students’ learning conditions, and we must fight together for a fairer, healthier education system for everyone who works and studies.”
A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “The ongoing action is part of a national campaign and we are working with all appropriate groups, including UCU representatives, to secure a long-term outcome for the USS pension that is fair, affordable and sustainable for both individuals and employers. Where we can, we have implemented a number of initiatives to address aspects of employment conditions for our staff.
“We have been a Voluntary Living Wage employer since 2012 and we have not used zero-hour contracts since 2014. We are committed to a fair offering for staff and offer many generous staff benefits, including excellent flexible working and family friendly policies.
“We are listening to staff concerns about the USS pension scheme and student concerns about the impact of industrial action. We recognise this ongoing situation is a concern and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure impact on learning and teaching is minimised.”