UCU strikes: what to expect

By Aysha Sarah

The UCU announced dates for the upcoming strike action On 27 January. There will be strike action for both USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme) and Four Fights disputes from mid-February to early March, including a period of joint action when branches will strike over both disputes on the same days.

The USS-based strikes begin earlier than those for the Four Fights. The UCU website states: “This is to coincide with crunch meetings with employers, during which proposed cuts to the USS pension scheme could be formalised.”

The last two days of USS strike action will overlap with the first two days of Four Fights strike action, followed by additional action for the Four Fights the next week; rolling regional action is planned. The LSE UCU branch will be participating in strike action during all of these dates.

The final day of action in the third week will see a student strike. As part of the New Vision of Education campaign, the NUS (National Union of Students) has called a one-day student strike – “Walk Out, Teach In” – to demand for a fully funded, accessible, democratic, lifelong further and higher education system.

The UCU has stated that “potential further action” is possible. Following strike action, there may be a boycott of marking and assessment, as well as a round of re-ballots to extend the six-month industrial action mandate that expires in early May.

Dates:What’s happening:
Week 1: 14-18 FebruaryUSS Dispute Strike Action – 44 institutions to strike over cuts to the USS pension scheme
Week 2: 21-22 February Joint Dispute Strike Action – 68 institutions to strike over both USS pensions and pay and working conditions
Week 3: 28 February-2 MarchFour Fights Dispute Strike Action – 63 institutions to strike over pay, workloads, casualisation and equalities
Final Day: 2 MarchNUS Strike Action – Coinciding with the final day of UCU strikes, the NUS will hold a mass teach-in that will take place in Central London

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