Five days of strikes scheduled for the beginning of term at Lincoln
The new strike dates from the 25th to the 29th means an unfortunate start to the year for Lincoln students
The UCU has confirmed five days of strikes at the end of September, which happens to be the start of the term for many UK universities and the first week of teaching at Lincoln.
The strike dates, which were announced on social media yesterday afternoon, will mean some lecturers from the University of Lincoln will not be attending lectures starting on the 25th of September until the 29th.
This industrial action comes after strikes in March, April, and July failed to settle disputes over pay and working conditions for university staff. The new strike dates also mark the end of the marking boycott, which started on the 20th of April.
A statement about the decision to strike from the UCU general secretary said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts. It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected.
“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer. We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during Fresher’s Week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.”
When asked to comment on the strike news and its impact on teaching at the start of term, the University of Lincoln spokesperson said: “The University of Lincoln’s priority will always be to put students first. Our focus will be on minimising any disruption to teaching and the student experience from the UCU’s latest industrial action. Timetabled activities will continue, key services will be unaffected, and the vast majority of teaching will go ahead. As always, we look forward to welcoming new and returning students.”
The university also assured students that the library, well-being, and student support services will be unaffected by the industrial action and available to students throughout the scheduled strike dates.
Despite the reassurance, this news will be disappointing to most students at Lincoln, both new students hoping to get the most out of their first few weeks of lectures and returning students who have already had their studies disrupted by the strikes last term.