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Eight days of strikes at three Welsh universities on from Monday

Members of the University and College Union at 60 UK universities will walk out from Monday (25 November) to Wednesday 4 December

·         Disputes are over pay and working conditions, and rising pension costs

 

Bangor University, Cardiff University and the University of Wales will be hit with eight days of strike action from Monday (25 November) after no agreement could be reached between university representatives and the University and College Union (UCU) over pensions, pay and working conditions.

 

Striking staff will be on picket lines from 8am in the following locations:

 

Earlier this week, UCU accused universities of playing games after their representatives refused to even discuss pay. The union said things were no better at talks yesterday (Wednesday) over changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), where their representatives failed to make a serious offer. 

 

UCU said it feared that universities had learnt nothing from last year’s dispute, when university campuses were brought to a standstill by unprecedented levels of strike action.

 

Last month, UCU members backed strike action in ballots over both pensions, and pay and working conditions. The results mean that UCU members at 60 UK universities* are walking out on Monday.

 

The disputes centre on changes to USS pensions and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads. At Cardiff University, 82% of staff who voted supported strike action over USS, and 77% backed strike action over pay and equality.

 

At Bangor University, 76% of staff polled backed strike action over USS, while 70% voted for strikes over pay and equality. Members at the University of Wales voted unanimously for strikes in the USS dispute, and 92% of voting staff backed strike action in the pay and equality dispute.

 

As well as eight strike days, union members will begin “action short of a strike” from Monday. This involves things like working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

 

UCU Wales official, Margaret Phelan, said: ‘Strike action is a last resort, but universities’ refusal to deal with these key issues have left us with no alternative. It is staggering and insulting that universities have not done more to work with us to try and find a way to resolve these disputes.

 

‘We hope students will continue to put pressure on university vice-chancellors to get their representatives back round the negotiating table for serious talks with the union.’

 

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner has called on both sides to get round the table for talks and the National Union of Students says students stand shoulder to shoulder with staff in the disputes.

* UK universities affected by strike action from Monday 25 November

Both disputes (43):

1.       Aston University

 

2.       Bangor University

 

3.       Cardiff University

 

4.       University of Durham

 

5.       Heriot-Watt University

 

6.       Loughborough University

 

7.       Newcastle University

 

8.       The Open University

 

9.       The University of Aberdeen

 

10.   The University of Bath

 

11.   The University of Dundee

 

12.   The University of Leeds

 

13.   The University of Manchester

 

14.   The University of Sheffield

 

15.   University of Nottingham

 

16.   The University of Stirling

 

17.   University College London

 

18.   The University of Birmingham

 

19.   The University of Bradford

 

20.   The University of Bristol

 

21.   The University of Cambridge

 

22.   The University of Edinburgh

 

23.   The University of Exeter

 

24.   The University of Essex

 

25.   The University of Glasgow

 

26.   The University of Lancaster

 

27.   The University of Leicester

 

28.   City University

 

29.   Goldsmiths College

 

30.   Queen Mary University of London

 

31.   Royal Holloway

 

32.   The University of Reading

 

33.   The University of Southampton

 

34.   The University of St Andrews

 

35.   Courtauld Institute of Art

 

36.   The University of Strathclyde

 

37.   The University of Wales

 

38.   The University of Warwick

 

39.   The University of York

 

40.   The University of Liverpool

 

41.   The University of Sussex

 

42.   The University of Ulster

 

43.   Queen’s University Belfast

 

 

 

Pay and conditions dispute only (14):

1.       Bishop Grosseteste University

 

2.       Bournemouth University

 

3.       Edge Hill University

 

4.       Glasgow Caledonian University

 

5.       Glasgow School of Art

 

6.       Liverpool Hope University

 

7.       Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

 

8.       Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

 

9.       St Mary’s University College, Belfast

 

10.   Roehampton University

 

11.   The University of Oxford

 

12.   Sheffield Hallam University

 

13.   The University of Brighton

 

14.   The University of Kent

 

 

USS pensions dispute only (3):

1.       Scottish Association of Marine Science

2.       The University of East Anglia

3.       Institute for Development Studies