The University of York has voted in favour of strike action this term

‘I do not think industrial action is the answer to these disputes’ says Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery

The University of York UCU branch has voted for strike action to take place this term amid an ongoing dispute over pensions.

This means strike action will most likely occur at York this term.

The University of York University and Colleges Union received 53.7 per cent turnout, 3.7 per cent above the threshold required for strike action.

While the vote doesn’t mean strikes are inevitable, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) encouraged employers “to urgently revoke the pension cuts and return to the negotiating table to avoid strike action”.

The results of a separate vote will be released today, this time centering around a pay dispute, which could see more staff from UK universities decide to launch industrial action.

In an email to students addressing the industrial action, Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery said: “Let me be very clear, we want to avoid industrial action. I certainly don’t want you to experience further disruption in what has already been an incredibly challenging time.”

The Vice-Chancellor’s email to students

He also outlined the university’s plans to support students if strikes did go ahead: “What is clear is that we are determined to minimise any disruption and we will be working very closely with Departments to put in place additional activities and contingencies where we can. There is nothing you need to do at this stage and, if industrial action goes ahead, we will let you know of any alternative teaching arrangements, or changes to assessments, as soon as possible.

“Whatever the outcome, all other University resources and support will remain open and available as normal. This includes student support and wellbeing services and our online resources, and our on-campus catering outlets, shops, the Library and the Sports Village for students here in York.

“I do not think industrial action is the answer to these disputes, especially when so many of you have faced such upheaval over the pandemic.”

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