Uni of Exeter’s first week of term to be disrupted by newly announced UCU strikes

Not the welcome back we wanted

Five days of university strikes have been confirmed today by the UCU for 140 UK universities, including the University of Exeter.

From Monday 25th to Friday 29th of September, Exeter lecturers will strike over low pay and working conditions to address demands for an above-inflation pay award.

With the announcement of five new strike dates also comes the end of the marking and assessment boycott, which has been ongoing since April 20th.

University College Union General Secretary Jo Grady said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.

“It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected. Universities are richer than ever, generating tens of billions of pounds in income and hoarding billions more in cash deposits. But they won’t give staff their fair share, a pay award of five per cent is a huge real-terms pay cut and is substantially lower than school teachers received.

“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer. We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during Freshers’ Week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.”

In June, deputy vice-chancellor, Timothy Quine, said that the university will continue to “support” students and update them about national industrial strike action.

The uni has advised to contact [email protected] if you have any concerns or questions about the upcoming strikes.

The University of Exeter has been contacted for comment.

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