'Biggest strike in history of UK higher education' getting underway

UCU industrial action photo UCU

Over 70,000 staff at 150 universities across the UK, including at Solent University and the University of Southampton, begin three days of strike action tomorrow (Nov 23) over pay, pensions and conditions.
Photo: University and College Union 



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University and College Union (UCU) members overwhelmingly voted 'yes' to industrial action last month in two national ballots.

Now strikes are due to take place on November 24, 25 and 30.

UCU says the action is over “attacks on pay, working conditions and pensions,” and the union is predicting historic turnout on its picket lines.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “University staff are taking the biggest strike action in the history of higher education. They have had enough of falling pay, pension cuts and gig-economy working conditions.”

The National Union of Students (NUS) has backed the strike action, which could see over 2.5m students impacted.

Pickets are expected at the University of Southampton outside the admin building (B37) and at Solent University at the “Andrew Building, Spark Building & Sports Building”.

Raj Jethwa, the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) chief executive, said earlier this month there will be “disappointment” across the sector at the decision to call strike action.

“UCU needs to provide its members with a realistic and fair assessment of what is achievable before encouraging strike action directed at students once again,” said Jethwa.

The University of Southampton said: “Meeting our commitments to our students and providing every opportunity for them to achieve their potential is always our highest priority. We will work with colleagues throughout the University to put in place the arrangements necessary to minimise any disadvantage to students as a result of any industrial action.”

UCU’s full statement
UCEA’s full statement
University of Southampton statement on industrial action 



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