|New Round of Strikes at the University of Roehampton|
Staff taking part in the largest ever industrial action held in the sector
Staff at the University of Roehampton have voted for three further days of industrial action in their dispute over pay and conditions.
They will be striking on Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Wednesday 30 November. There is a further threat to escalate industrial action in the new year alongside marking and assessment boycott.
Staff will also begin industrial action short of strike action from Wednesday 23 November, which includes working to rule, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.
They will be joining 70,000 people working at 150 universities across the country some of whom are also in dispute over changes to their pensions. Over 2.5 million students are expected to be impacted but the National Union of Students has given its support to the strike.
The University and College Union (UCU) said disruption can be avoided if employers act fast and make improved offers. If they don’t, strike action will escalate in the New Year alongside a marking and assessment boycott.
The strikes come after UCU members voted ‘yes’ to industrial action last month in two national ballots.
The union is demanding include pay rises more in line with the increase in the cost-of-living and action to end the use of insecure contracts. Employers gave a pay rise worth just 3% this year following over a decade of what the union says is below inflation pay awards. A third of academic staff are on some form of temporary contract.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said, ‘Campuses across the UK are about to experience strike action on a scale never seen before. 70,000 staff will walk out and make clear they refuse to accept falling pay, cuts to pensions and insecure employment.
‘This is not a dispute about affordability – it is about choices. Vice-chancellors are choosing to pay themselves hundreds of thousands of pounds whilst forcing our members onto low paid and insecure contracts that leave some using foodbanks. They choose to hold billions in surpluses whilst slashing staff pensions.
‘UCU members do not want to strike but are doing so to save the sector and win dignity at work. This dispute has the mass support of students because they know their learning conditions are our members’ working conditions.
‘If university vice-chancellors don’t get serious, our message is simple – this bout of strike action will be just the beginning.’
We have asked the University of Roehampton for comment.
November 10, 2022