Start of term at King’s College London to be hit with five days of strikes
The university joins a UK wide staff strike from Monday 25th to Friday 29th September
The University College Union announced on Wednesday that 140 UK universities would be striking for five days at the end of this month.
136 of those universities would be striking from Monday 25th to Friday 29th September, King’s College London among them, corresponding to the first week of term for King’s students.
The marking and assessment boycott that has been going since Thursday 20th April has been officially ended by UCU after union members voted to end it.
The UCU remains in a dispute with universities centred on low pay and working conditions. The union is demanding action on gig-economy employment practices and high workloads which force staff onto insecure contracts and regular unpaid shifts.
UCU 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.”
She went on to say: “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.”