By Daniel Wood
The Union that represents the university’s teachers has announced they will have 14 days of striking over pay and pensions.
The University teaching system is set to take a hit for four weeks after union members at the University of Huddersfield voted to take part in strike action.
Actions will start on Thursday, February 20 in a dispute over pay, which was announced by the University and College Union (UCU).
Staff are due to walk out for two days during the first week.
This will escalate each week, until there is a full week walkout from Monday 9 to Friday, March 13.
The union intends to ballot members on whether to take further strike action later in the year.
The full strike dates are:
First week – Thursday 20th & Friday 21st February.
Second week – Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th & Thursday 26th February.
Third week – Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th & Thursday 5th March.
Fourth week – Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th & Friday 13th March.
Why are the strikes taking place?
Talks between the UCU and Universities UK (UUK), along with university pensions body USS, have broken down after the union demanded a resolution over increasing workloads, low pay and equality.
A resolution over the casualisation of university teaching staff was also demanded.
This dispute led to lecturers, technicians and library staff setting up picket lines at the end of 2019.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said in a statement:
“We have seen more members back strikes since the winter walkouts and this next wave of action will affect even more universities and students.
“If universities want to avoid further disruption they need to deal with rising pension costs, and address the problem over pay and conditions.”
The UUK responded: “We regret that the UCU is planning future strike action at a time when positive talks on the future of the [pension] scheme are making significant progress and are ongoing.”
The University Statement
A spokesperson for the University of Huddersfield said:
“We are very disappointed that on 30 January UCU nationally moved to call a strike before considering the most recent offer that the national pay negotiating body put forward on 27 January.
“We are aware that this is substantially enhanced offer was not made available to members prior to the national decision.
“Here at Huddersfield we perform well in areas that are being raised in the potential dispute, we have few hours contracts which are only used where appropriate with the vast majority of colleagues on substantial and secure contracts.
“We work hard and are committed to reducing any gender or ethnicity pay gaps.
“Whatever the outcome of further negotiations we are confident that all our valued colleagues whether or not members of the UCU will, as always, put the needs of our students first.”