The University and College (UCU) staff trade union - which represents academic and academic-related staff - in higher education across the UK, is in an industrial dispute at a national level with universities.
The issues of dispute are: staff pensions; staff pay levels; workload; use of casual employment contracts; and equality issues in the workplace.
The UCU and national representatives of universities have been in discussions for some time but have not come to an agreement.
UCU members in universities across the UK have exercised their right in law to commence industrial action against the universities.
They have agreed to take two types of industrial action:
- Strike Action
- Action Short of a Strike (This means working strictly to the terms of an employment contract and not doing any additional work.)
The most recent strike action took place over the folowing days:
- Wednesday 1 February
- Thursday 9 February and Friday 10 February
- Tuesday 14 February, Wednesday 15 February and Thursday 16 February
- Tuesday 21 February, Wednesday 22 February and Thursday 23 February (Strike action "paused" by UCU)
- Monday 27 February, Tuesday 28 February, Wednesday 1 March and Thursday 2 March (Strike action "paused" by UCU)
- Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 March
- Monday 20 March, Tuesday 21 March and Wednesday 22 March
This is in addition to days of strike action which took place on 1-3 Dec 2021, on 14-28 Feb 2022, on 21-22 Feb 2022, on 28 Feb 2022, on 1-2 Mar 2022, on 21-28 Mar 2022, on 24-25 Nov 2022 and 30 Nov 2022.
UCU members have being undertaken Action Short of a Strike since Dec 2021.
It is likely that there will be further, protracted, industrial action throughout 2023 unless the UCU and universities come to an agreement on the issues under dispute.
Unite the Union is also taking industrial action in relation to pay.