First day of UCU strikes this term will take place in two weeks across London universities
17 more days of strikes are planned over February and March
The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) confirmed that staff at 150 UK universities, including 31 in London, will be walking out on Wednesday, 1st February.
This is the first confirmed date of the UCU’s 18 planned days of strikes over February and March to demand “a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis [and] action to end the use of insecure contracts.”
The dates for the further 17 days of strikes are to be announced next week.
The UCU represents academic staff at universities and colleges across the UK. Over the past few years, it has called numerous strikes, action short of strikes, and marking boycotts over two disputes: one for better pay and working conditions, and the other against cuts to pensions and benefits.
The union announced last week that they’re planning another 18 days of strikes before Easter after employers tried to settle the disputes with a pay rise offer that’s “not enough.”
Wednesday, 1st February is the first date confirmed in this new wave of strikes. The union said “the clock is ticking” for employers to “put more money on the table” and “bring forward discussions on non-pay related issues.” It also warned of possible marking boycotts that “strategically target the summer finals” if a settlement is not reached by April.
The newly-confirmed strike date coincides with The Trades Union Congress (TUC) ‘s “protect the right to strike day.” In addition to UCU members, it’ll see workers of other major trade unions striking in protest against the government’s planned “anti-strike measures.”
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “On 1st February, 70,000 university staff will walk out alongside fellow trade unions and hundreds of thousands of other workers to demand their fair share.
“Whilst the cost-of-living crisis rages, university vice-chancellors are dragging their feet and refusing to use the vast wealth in the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant casualisation and massive pension cuts.
“UCU remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement, but if university employers don’t get serious and fast, more strike action will follow in February and March.”
Below are the 31 London universities that will be affected by the upcoming strikes:
- Birkbeck, University of London
- Brunel University London
- City, University of London
- Courtauld Institute of Art
- University of East London
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- University of Greenwich
- Imperial College London
- King’s College London
- Kingston University
- London Metropolitan University
- London School of Economics
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- London South Bank University
- Middlesex University
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Roehampton University
- Royal Academy of Music
- Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- Royal College of Art
- Royal College of Music
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- Royal Veterinary College, University of London
- Senate House, University of London
- SOAS, University of London
- St George’s, University of London
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham
- University College London
- University of the Arts London
- University of West London
- University of Westminster
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Here’s how the university strikes will impact you as London students
• UCU announces 18 days of strikes over the next two months at more than 30 London unis
• ‘We need education to change’: The head of UCU on how the strikes are affecting students