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University and College Union (UCU) industrial action announcement

18 Nov 2021

On Tuesday (16 November), we received confirmation from UCU that they will be taking industrial action from Wednesday, 1 December 2021

This will take the form of strike action on 1, 2 and 3 December 2021 and action short of a strike continuously from the 1 December ending no later than 3 May 2022. We recognise the right of colleagues to take this action, but are extremely concerned about the impact on our whole community, particularly on our students who have suffered so much over the past 20 months.

The industrial action at our University is in respect of pay and employment conditions, where the vote just exceeded the legal threshold for action (50.4%). In total 728 staff voted in favour of such action. We have over 12,000 staff across the University.

We absolutely understand how important pay and employment conditions, and indeed pensions, are to colleagues and we take these views and concerns very seriously.

However, inevitably any kind of industrial action causes serious disruption for our community, and particularly our students, exacerbated this year following such an extended period of pandemic upheaval.

We will very shortly provide more detailed guidance to staff, line managers and students to help navigate and mitigate against any disruption.

In particular, we’d like to reassure our students that we will do everything we can to minimise any impact on their teaching, learning and wider experience and will of course keep colleagues fully informed of any developments.

Further information

  • Pay and pensions are negotiated nationally.
  • In the ballot on changes to the USS pension arrangement, our turnout was 49.95% of eligible UCU members, so failed to reach the legal 50% threshold required to give a mandate for strike action. 78% (807 staff) of those who voted were in favour of strike action; about 6,300 members of our staff are USS members.
  • In the separate vote on pay and employment conditions, the turnout of eligible UCU members was 50.4%, so just exceeding the 50% threshold. 74% (728 staff) of those voting in this ballot were in favour of strike action. We have a total of over 12,000 staff across the University all of whom are affected by pay and conditions.