University strikes in Sheffield: why universities are striking, which ones are taking part and all the UCU strike dates

Staff from 74 universities across the UK will walk out for 14 days spread across February and March, culminating in a week-long walkout from March 9 to March 13.

Monday, 17th February 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Monday, 17th February 2020, 12:28 pm
University staff will hold strikes over pay and changes to pension in February and March (PA Media)

The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Univeristy are among the participating schools, who will strike over the course of four weeks.

Spearheaded by the University and College Union (UCU), the strikes could bring disruption for millions of students.

Strikes over the same issues took place in November and December of 2019.

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Why are university staff walking out?

The action hinges on two main disputes: one relating to pensions and the other to pay and work conditions.

A series of changes made to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) since 2011, means that staff are paying more into their pensions, but ultimately missing out on tens of thousands of pounds, according to the UCU.

According to the UCU, a typical member of the scheme will pay around £40,000 more into their pension, but receive nearly £200,000 less in retirement leaving - this would leave them £240,000 worse off in total.

Members are also striking over the decline in value of staff pay.

According to Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), pay of staff has dropped by around 17% in real terms since 2009.

The UCU claim that staff pay has actually fallen by 20% in that time, as pay awards in higher education have resulted in a cumulative increase of 11%, but in the same time period the RPI (retail price index) has increased by 31.8%.

When are the strikes?

Fourteen days of strikes will take place over four weeks in February and March.

Week one: February 20 and 21

Week two: February 24 to 26

Week three: February 2 to 5

Week four: February 9 to 13.

Full list of UK universities affected

Both disputes (47):

Aston UniversityBangor UniversityCardiff UniversityUniversity of DurhamHeriot-Watt UniversityLoughborough UniversityNewcastle UniversityThe Open UniversityThe University of BathThe University of DundeeThe University of LeedsThe University of ManchesterThe University of SheffieldUniversity of NottinghamThe University of StirlingUniversity College LondonThe University of BirminghamThe University of BradfordThe University of BristolThe University of CambridgeThe University of EdinburghThe University of ExeterThe University of EssexThe University of GlasgowThe University of LancasterThe University of LeicesterCity UniversityGoldsmiths CollegeQueen Mary University of LondonRoyal Holloway, University of LondonThe University of ReadingThe University of SouthamptonThe University of St AndrewsCourtauld Institute of ArtThe University of StrathclydeThe University of WalesThe University of WarwickThe University of YorkThe University of LiverpoolThe University of SussexThe University of AberdeenThe University of UlsterQueen's University BelfastBirkbeck College, University of LondonSOAS, University of LondonThe University of OxfordThe University of East Anglia

Pay and conditions dispute only (22):

Bishop Grosseteste UniversityBournemouth UniversityEdge Hill UniversityGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgow School of ArtLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpool Institute of Performing ArtsQueen Margaret University, EdinburghSt Mary's University College, BelfastRoehampton UniversitySheffield Hallam UniversityThe University of BrightonThe University of KentBath Spa UniversityRoyal College of ArtUniversity of HuddersfieldUniversity of WinchesterUniversity of East LondonLeeds Trinity UniversityUAL University of the Arts LondonDe Montfort UniversityUniversity of Greenwich

USS pensions dispute only (5):

Scottish Association of Marine ScienceInstitute for Development StudiesKeele UniversityKing's College LondonImperial College London