Lecturers at Newcastle and Northumbria University will be striking for 18 days this term

70,000 staff across 150 UK universities will be striking

The University College Union (UCU) announced a further 18 days of strike action across February and March. This comes after of three days of strike disruption last term in November.

The UCU have not yet announced exact dates for strikes but these are set to be released next week.

70,000 staff across 150 UK universities will be striking amidst ongoing campaigns for better pay and pensions, among other things. The union are pushing for significant pay rises to ease the effects of the cost of living crisis, on top of ending the use if insecure contracts, and are demanding that universities revoke cuts to pensions and restore benefits.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Today our union came together to back an unprecedented programme of escalating strike action. The clock is now ticking for the sector to produce a deal or be hit with widespread disruption.

“University staff dedicate their lives to education and they want to get back to work, but that will only happen if university vice-chancellors use the vast wealth of the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant insecure employment practices and devastating pension cuts. The choice is theirs.”

Newcastle students were affected by strike action at the end of November last year, with many current third and fourth year students having had their studies disrupted by both Covid-19 restrictions and strike action.

There were just 18 days of strikes across the academic year 2021-22, highlighting the increased scale of disruption students are experiencing this year.

Universities gave staff a pay rise of three per cent this year (with inflation currently over 10 per cent), after what the UCU calls “over a decade of below-inflation pay awards”.