University staff in Sheffield set to strike
Staff at Sheffield’s two universities are set to take strike action later this month.
Members of the University and College Union at 60 UK universities will walk out from Monday, November 25 – Wednesday, December 4 in disputes over issues including pay, working conditions and rising pension costs.
Last week UCU members backed strike action in ballots, with the union calling for universities had to respond positively to avoid disruption before Christmas.
The disputes centre on changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.
As well as eight strike days from 25 November, union members will begin ‘action short of a strike’ when they return to work.
They will working strictly to contract, not cover for absent colleagues and refuse to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.
At the University of Sheffield, four in five members -79 per cent - backed strikes over pay and conditions and 84 per cent backed strikes over pensions.
UCU members at Sheffield Hallam are in a different pension scheme and were only balloted for strikes over pay and conditions.
Three-quarters of members – 76 per cent – backed strikes.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “Strike action is a last resort, but staff have made it quite clear that enough is enough and universities can be in no doubt about the strength of feeling.
“The first wave of strikes will hit institutions later this month unless universities start talking to us seriously about how they are going to deal with rising pension costs and declining pay and conditions.”