Students will potentially face six more months of strike action as UCU renews mandate

The action will affect over 150 universities across the UK

The UCU has renewed its mandate for industrial action.

This means that uni students are potentially facing six more months of strikes.

The UCU will begin a consultation tomorrow with its members over new proposals put forward by employers.

If uni staff decide further strike action is required, the ballot results now mean that the union is able to implement this at 150 universities across the UK.

In the pay and working condition ballot, 85.6 per cent voted yes for strike action, with a turnout of 56.4 per cent. In the pension ballot, 89 per cent voted yes for strike action, with a turnout of 58.4 per cent. In both of these ballots, the yes vote is up from the previous ballot.

UCU members also “overwhelmingly” voted yes for action short of strike in both ballots. The UCU is now beginning preparations to serve notice for a marking and assessment ballot.

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary said: “Today belongs to our members, who have made UCU the first education union in the UK to win back-to-back national ballots, twice beating the Tories’ anti-union laws. The numbers voting in favour of action has only increased and if employers were in any doubt about the determination of university staff to save the sector, they can be no more.”

As a result of the strike action which occurred earlier this year, the UCU won commitments to restore pensions and end zero-hour contracts. Further talks have also taken place on closing equality pay gaps, addressing unsafe workloads, and reducing insecure work.

Grady also said: “Employers thought we could not win a national ballot. They were wrong. Employers thought we could not repeat it. They were wrong again. Every vice chancellor in the UK today now knows we will win any strike action ballot we call.

“Members will now be consulted on proposals in both disputes, and employers know strike action can be called again at will. Importantly, we have shown university bosses that it is staff who are in the driving seat.”

Featured image via @ucu on Twitter and UCU website.

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