The University of Leeds has voted in favour of strike action

The Leeds UCU branch reached the 50 per cent threshold needed to consider strike action

The University of Leeds UCU (University and Colleges Union) branch has voted in favour of strike action to take place this semester, amid an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Another set of results will be released today around a pay dispute, which could see more staff from Leeds voting in favour of industrial action.

The University of Leeds UCU branch received a 60.8 per cent turn out, with 75.2 per cent voting in favour of taking industrial action consisting of strike action.

Overall, 76 per cent of UCU members have voted in favour of taking strike action over USS pension cuts.

1,848 ballots were mailed out, with 1,124 turning out to vote. 843 members are prepared to take industrial action consisting of strike action.

Out of 68 universities, 37 of those met the 50 per cent threshold required to legally hold a strike, and UCU will now meet with its members to discuss a course of action.

The University and Colleges Union (UCU) encouraged employers “to urgently revoke the pension cuts and return to the negotiating table to avoid strike action.”

The University of Leeds UCU released a statement on their website this morning describing it as a “magnificent outcome, which repeats what we achieved in 2019, in very different circumstances.

“I want to pay particular tribute to everyone who volunteered as part of the effort to get the vote out.

“To remind you, we have an Extraordinary General Meeting next Tuesday 9th at 1pm – we will send a link out on Monday.

“What we will do in this meeting is discuss the branches views on next steps which we will then feed into a UK-wide branch delegate meeting on Friday 12th.”

The strikes, however, won’t be straight away as “the employers must be given 2 weeks notice of any industrial action, suggesting that we can expect any action to start in very late November or December.”

An email sent to all students on Monday 18th October discussed the ballot for industrial action.

Student Communications told students “if there is a strike or other action, we’ll do everything we can do to minimise the impact on your education and experience.

“As you may have know or have seen for yourself, we’ve kept the University open throughout previous strikes, most recently in 2019-20.”

The University has committed to improving some of the ‘four fights’ from the UCU, and have discussed this on their Fairer Future for All Pledges.

Leeds has said it will reduce short-term contracts and boost job security, support a healthy and fulfilled staff community and create opportunity and celebrate achievements.

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