Leeds Uni students to face 10 days of Strikes in February

Three different strikes will be taking place in February

UCU has announced dates for industrial action in February, affecting the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University, after three days of strikes at Leeds in December.

This is despite LUU announcing they will not support the strikes, and many students taking a similar viewpoint, with 51% not supporting them.

The Strike Dates

Week 1 (Monday 14 – Friday 18 February) will dispute USS pensions and include 44 institutions from the UK.

Week 2 (Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February) will dispute pensions and pay and working conditions and includes 68 UK institutions.

Week 3 (Monday 28 February – Wednesday 2 March) will dispute just pay and working conditions, with 63 institutions participating.

The full strike dates, with numbers of institutions involved, are: week 1 (USS pension dispute only, 44 institutions): 5 days; Monday 14 to Friday 18 February week 2 (both the pension and the pay & working conditions dispute, 68 institutions): 2 days; Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February week 3 (pay & working conditions dispute only, 63 institutions): 3 days; Monday 28 February, Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 March

The dates of strikes at Leeds in February

There are also further plans for industrial action including rolling regional and UK wide action in pay and working conditions and preparations are underway for a UK wide marking and assessment boycott.

Over 50,000 uni staff are set to strike in a “fight for the future of higher education” in a walkout set to impact over a million students.

Leeds UCU said: “This action is not instead of negotiating, it is because the negotiators for the senior management of universities, including ours, are not seriously engaging in the negotiations, they seem to want to defeat university staff rather than work with us.

“By their intransigence, senior management of universities have left us having to take industrial action to try to get them to come back round the negotiating table with some meaningful offers instead of excuses-why-not.”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “It is a damning indictment of the way our universities are managed that staff are being left with no option but to walk out again. For a sector that is worth tens of billions of pounds and enjoys record levels of student growth it is beyond disgraceful that in return staff get vicious pension cuts, falling pay and are pushed to breaking point under deteriorating working conditions.

“Time is quickly running out for vice chancellors to avert strike action, but it can be done. Staff need a proper pay rise, action to tackle insecure contracts, unsafe workloads and pay inequality, and for devastating pension cuts to be revoked. Any disruption that occurs will be the clearest indication yet that university bosses don’t value their staff.

“This wave of strike action is a fight for the future of higher education and staff are proud to stand alongside students in the fight for an education system that treats students and staff with respect.”

Leeds University Union and the University of Leeds have both been approached for comment.

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