All Leeds Uni strike dates confirmed, with 11 days in February and seven in March
Leeds students are set to miss more than 40 per cent of scheduled teaching in the next two months
Leeds Uni students are set to miss more than 40 per cent of scheduled teaching in the next two months as the UCU has announced its upcoming strike dates for this term.
In a dispute over pay, working conditions and pension cuts, the union has announced the largest university strikes in history.
Across the next two months, lecturers will be striking for 11 days in February and seven days in March. The exact Leeds University strike dates for this term are as follows:
Week One: Wednesday 1st February
Week Two: Thursday 9th and Friday 10th February
Week Three: Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th February
Week Four: Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd February
Week Five: Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th February and Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd March
Week Six: No strike action this week
Week Seven: Thursday 16th and Friday 17th March
Week Eight: Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd March
The unprecedented action means students have just nine days of actual teaching in February.
The dispute has continued to escalate across the academic year as the union struggles to meet an agreement with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), the body which represents university employers.
The UCU has argued its members have lost 35 per cent on average from their guaranteed future retirement income, a figure which is more severe for those at the start of their career.
Its members have been offered a four to five per cent pay increase from the UCEA but the union says in light of the cost-of-living crisis, it needs to see a “substantial improvement” on this offer to call off the strikes.
UCU general secretary, Jo Grady, said: “The university sector in the UK has over £40 billion sitting in reserves, but instead of using that vast wealth to deliver a cost-of-living pay rise and reverse devastating pension cuts, university vice-chancellors would rather force staff to take strike action and see campuses shut down.
“There is a clear route out of these disputes, but at present vice-chancellors lack the political will to take it. They are failing staff who want to get back to work, and students who want to get on with their studies.
“Students understand that staff working conditions are their learning conditions and we are proud to have their support in these disputes. A system that relies on low pay and the rampant use of insecure contracts is a system which fails everyone.”
Next week, the UCU will reballot its 70,000 members from across 150 universities about the possibility of taking further strike action beyond March. Previously, the union has raised the possibility of a marking boycott from April, to coincide with students’ end of year exams.