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Five days of strikes to hit both Sheffield universities for the start of term

The new dates fall at the end of September


The UCU has announced five days of university strikes for the end of the month, with possible impacts on the start of term at both Sheffield universities.

From Monday 25th to Friday 29th September, lecturers at 136 universities, including Sheffield University and Hallam, will be striking.

In the announcement yesterday, UCU also explained the withdrawal of its marking and assessment boycott, which began on Thursday 20th April.

Lecturers are striking over low pay and working conditions and their demands include an above-inflation pay award “to start addressing pay which has fallen in real terms by a quarter since 2009.”

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.

“It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected.

“Universities are richer than ever, generating tens of billions of pounds in income and hoarding billions more in cash deposits. But they won’t give staff their fair share, a pay award of five per cent is a huge real-terms pay cut and is substantially lower than school teachers received.

“We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer.

“We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during fresher’s week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.”

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