Members of the University of Nottingham’s University and College Union (UCU) have backed strike action in a dispute over pay and working conditions. Lauren McGaun reports on the anticipated industrial action.
Overall, more than seven in ten members across the UCU who voted backed strike action. The overall turnout in British universities hit the 50% required threshold required.
At the University of Nottingham specifically, 64% voted in favour of strike action, with a turnout of 63.3%.
#4Fights ballot result at UoN: 63.3% turnout, 64% in favour of strike action, 80.2% in favour of action short of a strike. Another strong result ???— University of Nottingham UCU branch (@UoNUCU) November 5, 2021
We will hold a branch meeting on Wed 11 Nov at 4pm to discuss with members what the next steps should be.
The National Union of Students (NUS) has backed the strike action, describing staff’s working conditions as “untenable”.
Today’s results follow those held yesterday, in which 76% backed strike action over pension cuts, with an overall turnout of 53%. UCU said the turnout in both ballots reflected the anger of staff working in UK universities.
The results mean that lecturers at 54 universities now have a mandate to carry out industrial action.
UCU is demanding a £2,500 pay increase for all staff; an end to pay injustice based on race, gender and disability discrimination; a framework to eliminate casualised contracts; and meaningful action to tackle unmanageable workloads.
The most recently published vice chancellor salaries show university bosses earn around £278,000, almost ten times more than entry level academic or academic related professional staff.
their aim was to be as “disruptive as possible for university management”
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This result is a clear vote of no confidence in the so-called leaders of our universities, with staff telling them in no uncertain terms that they have had enough of pay and working conditions being run into the ground.”
One senior member of UoN’s UCU, who wished to stay anonymous, said that if the strikes were given the final go-ahead, their aim was to be as “disruptive as possible for university management”.
If the UCU is unable to come to an agreement with the University, the strikes would take place before Christmas and could start as early as the 15th November. The ballot has also allowed for up to 12 weeks of strike action, meaning the industrial action could continue into spring term.
Whilst many students understand the grievances of staff, with some aiming to protest alongside them, the anticipated industrial action would follow months, if not years, of disrupted learning for students, with strikes which took place in 2019-2020 also having a significant impact on current final year students.
In-article image courtesy of @uonucu via @twitter.com. No changes were made to this image.
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