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Lancaster UCU announces five consecutive days of strike action in September

The strikes will take place from 25th-29th September


The UCU has announced five more days of strike action in September at 136 UK universities, including Lancaster.

The strikes, which take place from 25th to 29th September, do not coincide with Lancaster’s term dates, but UCU members at the university will strike nonetheless.

The marking and assessment boycott, which was in effect since April 20th 2023, officially ended on the 6th September.

In the academic year of 2022-23, the UCU carried out 32 days of strikes, disputing issues such as low pay, working conditions, and pensions.

A post on the UCU website stated although the marking and assessment boycott has ended, the UCU will begin reballoting universities, which will allow the UCU “to escalate the dispute by taking further action this year and into 2024”.

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.”