Leeds University lecturers to go on ‘indefinite’ strike from next week onwards
Over 1,800 staff members will be taking part in strike action until the ‘threat’ is withdrawn
Leeds UCU has announced “indefinite strike action” beginning on 15th June until the threat of 100 per cent pay deduction for those taking part in the ongoing marking and assessment boycott is withdrawn by the university’s senior management.
In a statement on the University of Leeds website, the university declared that those who confirm their participation in strike action as well as those who fail to provide a reason for not marking work will face a 100 per cent pay deduction “from the date at which the marking or assessment was due.”
The university said the striking staff’s salary will be withheld daily until the Head of School either confirms the cessation of the staff member’s participation in the marking boycott or confirms that the staff’s marking activity has been completed. The university explains that the alternative is for the UCU to agree to the termination of the marking boycott or industrial action entirely by 30th September 2023.
In response to this Leeds UCU said: “We are urgently seeking a meeting with senior management to try to avert it, but we will strike if we have to”. Leeds UCU also announced that it is “exploring avenues for legal challenges”.
On Friday, the UCU expressed its frustration: “Leeds raked in £930m last year and has over half a billion pounds in the bank, yet spends less than half its income on staff. UCU said it should be trying to resolve the dispute instead of further impoverishing its workers.”
Dr Kate Hardy, Associate Professor in Work and Employment Relations at the University of Leeds, took to Twitter in response to the situation, explaining: “We’ve offered to talk and the ball is now in their [senior management’s] court.”
The Tab Leeds reached out to the University of Leeds for a statement in response to how this will affect students.
A University of Leeds spokesperson said: “We are working hard to minimise the impact of industrial action on the education and learning experience of our students.
“We will closely monitor the situation before and during the planned strike action and our priority will be to keep students informed of any changes that may impact them.
“We have consistently emphasised that when timetabled teaching, or assessment and marking activity, is affected by strike action, rescheduling and completing this activity must be the priority.