University staff set to strike for 18 days between February and March

Mamma Mia, here we go again

Staff and lecturers at Exeter University are set to strike for 18 days this term.

More than 70,000 staff at 150 UK universities will strike for 18 days between February and March 2023. The University and College Union (UCU) has announced that the exact dates will be confirmed this week.

Exeter University staff will be among those striking over better pay, pensions, and working conditions amongst other things.

This follows the three days of strikes that took place earlier this year on 24th, 25th, and 30th of November. This totals 21 days of disrupted teaching this academic year. A Tab investigation this summer found Russell Group unis saved £11million in withheld pay whilst lecturers were on strike last university year.

The decision to strike was taken by the union’s higher education committee (HEC) which met on 12th January.

The union is demanding a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis as well as action to end the use of insecure contracts. Employers imposed a pay rise worth just three per cent this year following over a decade of below-inflation pay awards.

The UCU said “the clock is ticking” for university bosses to avoid widespread disruption this year.

Jo Grady, General Secretary for the UCU said: “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.”

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