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First day of UCU strikes this term will take place in two weeks across London universities

17 more days of strikes are planned over February and March

The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) confirmed that staff at 150 UK universities, including 31 in London, will be walking out on Wednesday, 1st February.

This is the first confirmed date of the UCU’s 18 planned days of strikes over February and March to demand “a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis [and] action to end the use of insecure contracts.”

The dates for the further 17 days of strikes are to be announced next week.

The UCU represents academic staff at universities and colleges across the UK. Over the past few years, it has called numerous strikes, action short of strikes, and marking boycotts over two disputes: one for better pay and working conditions, and the other against cuts to pensions and benefits.

The union announced last week that they’re planning another 18 days of strikes before Easter after employers tried to settle the disputes with a pay rise offer that’s “not enough.”

Wednesday, 1st February is the first date confirmed in this new wave of strikes. The union said “the clock is ticking” for employers to “put more money on the table” and “bring forward discussions on non-pay related issues.” It also warned of possible marking boycotts that “strategically target the summer finals” if a settlement is not reached by April.

The newly-confirmed strike date coincides with The Trades Union Congress (TUC) ‘s “protect the right to strike day.” In addition to UCU members, it’ll see workers of other major trade unions striking in protest against the government’s planned “anti-strike measures.”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “On 1st February, 70,000 university staff will walk out alongside fellow trade unions and hundreds of thousands of other workers to demand their fair share.

“Whilst the cost-of-living crisis rages, university vice-chancellors are dragging their feet and refusing to use the vast wealth in the sector to address over a decade of falling pay, rampant casualisation and massive pension cuts.

“UCU remains committed to reaching a negotiated settlement, but if university employers don’t get serious and fast, more strike action will follow in February and March.”

Below are the 31 London universities that will be affected by the upcoming strikes:

  1. Birkbeck, University of London
  2. Brunel University London
  3. City, University of London
  4. Courtauld Institute of Art
  5. University of East London
  6. Goldsmiths, University of London
  7. University of Greenwich
  8. Imperial College London
  9. King’s College London
  10. Kingston University
  11. London Metropolitan University
  12. London School of Economics
  13. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  14. London South Bank University
  15. Middlesex University
  16. Queen Mary, University of London
  17. Roehampton University
  18. Royal Academy of Music
  19. Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  20. Royal College of Art
  21. Royal College of Music
  22. Royal Holloway, University of London
  23. Royal Veterinary College, University of London
  24. Senate House, University of London
  25. SOAS, University of London
  26. St George’s, University of London
  27. St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  28. University College London
  29. University of the Arts London
  30. University of West London
  31. University of Westminster

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UCU announces 18 days of strikes over the next two months at more than 30 London unis