Revealed: These are all the upcoming dates Oxford Uni lecturers are striking this term
UCU members are striking for 18 days across February and March
The University and College Union (UCU) has announced the exact dates for its upcoming 18 days of strike action taking place across the next two months.
Described by the union as the largest higher education industrial action in history, striking Oxford lecturers will walk out for 11 days in February and seven days in March.
The exact dates Oxford University strike dates 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 strikes are taking place nationwide and involve more than 70,000 members across 150 different universities.
However, the proportion of Oxford lecturers who are members of the UCU is just 11 per cent, far lower than at other Russell Group institutions.
As such, despite the strikes disrupting more than 40 per cent of the teaching days in the next two months, Oxford students are not expected to be severely expected when compared to other students across the country.
UCU members previously went on strike in November, the university told students at the time to attend all their teaching as normal. The university added whilst services such as libraries may be affected by striking staff, any changes to teaching would be “advertised locally”.
Today, union bosses are meeting with representatives from the Universities and Colleges Employers Assocation in an attempt to negotiate an end to dispute.
The UCU says it needs to be offered a “substantial improvement” on the “four to five” per cent pay increase the employers association are currently offering.
UCU general secretary, Dr 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.”
Cuts made last year means its members will lose 35 per cent on average from their guaranteed retirement income, the union argued. The UCU also said this impact is worse for less experienced staff who have been in their job for a shorter period of time.
The UCU general secretary also thanked students for their support in the ongoing disruption. “Students understand that staff working conditions are their learning conditions and we are proud to have their support in these disputes,” she said.
However, she may be set to test their support further. The UCU also announced it will reballot its 70,000 members next week to vote on taking further action throughout the rest of the academic year beyond March. Previously, the union hinted at the possibility of a marking boycott from April.
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Featured image via Twitter/OxfordUCU