UK universities face national strike as pay and pensions dispute escalates

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College students at 150 UK universities face additional disruption after lecturers and employees voted in favour of a nationwide strike in an ongoing row over pay and pensions.

The College and Faculty Union on Monday stated its members had damaged the brink of fifty per cent turnout and 40 per cent help required for strike motion in two separate ballots.

The votes mark the primary time an schooling union has secured a mandate for a nationwide walkout since legal guidelines curbing unions’ means to name strikes have been launched in 2016 and are available amid an intensifying cost of living crisis.

In addition they set the stage for months of disrupted lessons alongside additional potential strikes in faculties and faculties.

Jo Grady, UCU common secretary, stated college staff have been “keen to convey all the sector to a standstill, if critical negotiations didn’t begin very quickly”. 

“College employees are essential staff in communities up and down the UK. They’re sending a transparent message that they won’t settle for falling pay, insecure employment and assaults on pensions.”

UK universities have been locked in a dispute over pensions, pay and dealing situations since 2018, with 10 days of strikes at first of this yr.

Beforehand, particular person UCU branches needed to safe their very own mandates to carry walkouts. However on this spherical of balloting, the union sought a mandate throughout all universities.

Within the poll on pay and dealing situations, 81.1 per cent of respondents voted to strike, with a turnout of 57.8 per cent amongst members at 145 universities.

In a second poll on pensions, 84.9 per cent of respondents at 67 establishments that take part within the Universities Superannuation Scheme voted in favour of walkouts, on a turnout of 60.2 per cent.

The union will resolve its subsequent steps at a nationwide assembly on November 3.

The probably strikes will add to a wave of UK industrial unrest, as staff demand pay rises in line with inflation, which is at 10.1 per cent.

Whereas the three greatest educating unions final week moved towards walkouts in protest at a funding squeeze, UCU members at additional schooling faculties are already hanging.

The UCU referred to as for a “significant pay rise” for all college employees in response to the price of residing disaster, saying they’d been provided a rise of three per cent this yr. It added that it wished controversial cuts made to the USS scheme on the top of the Covid-19 pandemic to be reversed.

Universities UK, which represents the sector and oversees talks on pension phrases, stated pension contributions have been “on the very restrict of affordability”.

“Universities are adept at mitigating the affect of strikes on pupil studying, and so ready for any additional doable industrial motion over the approaching months.”



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