UCU members have announced this week that members of 74 UK universities will walk out between Thursday 20th February and Friday 13th March. After voting to join the strikes last week, Oxford will be among those universities affected.
The length of the walkouts will increase over four weeks, and the Union has announced that it will be considering running fresh ballots to allow more strikes if the disputes are not resolved this time around.
The UCU strikes are in protests over pay, working conditions and rising pension costs amongst university staff. Amongst its list of concerns the UCU sites the sustainability of the Universities Superannuation Scheme, rising costs for members and the universities’ failure to make significant improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.
The action will culminate in a week-long walkout from Monday 9th to Friday 13th March.
The full strike dates are as follows:
- Week one – Thursday 20th & Friday 21st February
- Week two – Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th February
- Week three – Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th & Thursday 5th March
- Week four – Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th & Friday 13th
Alongside this strike action, union members are undertaking ‘action short of a strike’, involving acts such as working strictly to their contracts, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures and seminars lost to strike action.
General Secretary of the UCU Jo Grady said: “If universities want to avoid further disruption they need to deal with rising pension costs, and address the problems over pay and conditions.”
“We have been clear from the outset that we would take serious and sustained industrial action if that was what was needed. As well as the strikes later this month, we are going to ballot members to ensure that we have a fresh mandate for action to continue until the end of the academic year if these disputes are not resolved.”