Sheffield Hallam University calls off UCU strikes for the first week back

The move was announced in an email to students

Sheffield Hallam University UCU has called off the strikes that were due to take place in the first week of the semester.

140 universities had been set to go ahead with industrial action as part of the long-running dispute over pay and working conditions. That number has now been reduced, with just 42 universities continuing the strike action from Monday 25th to Friday 29th September, including the University of Sheffield.

In response to this summer’s marking and assessment boycott, that has now ended, many universities made decisions to deduct up to 100 per cent of participating staff’s pay. Institutions such as the University of Bath, University of Bristol, and the University of Aberdeen, have reached a deal to end these deductions, and the UCU is calling on others to follow their lead.

The UCU website explains that calling off strike action “will also allow branches to focus on getting the vote out in the national ballot that has opened this week and will run to Friday 3 November.”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “We have seen many employers do the right thing and agree to stop punitive pay deductions and some have also agreed to return what has been taken. We are now urging other vice-chancellors to follow their lead and are calling off strike action at dozens of universities. This will also allow our members to concentrate on winning the reballot and getting the pay and conditions they deserve.

“Renewing our mandate and keeping the pressure on is the way we will win this dispute, but the strike action due to go ahead next week stands as a reminder to all employers that if you behave egregiously, you will face further disruption.”

In an email to students announcing the halting of the strikes, Sheffield Hallam University said “all scheduled teachings and course induction sessions will be taking place as planned”.

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