Staff at 74 universities will walk out for 14 days in UK’s biggest ever higher education strikes
Disputes are over pay and working conditions, and rising pension costs
The University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) and Edgehill University will be hit with 14 days of strike action in February and March.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are walking out in two disputes – one over pensions, and another over pay and working conditions – in the largest wave of strikes ever seen on UK campuses.
UCU members at Liverpool and Liverpool Hope will be taking action on:
Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March
Their colleagues at LIPA will not be taking action on Thursday 20 February or Friday 21 February. They will still be taking the full 14 days and will walk out on Monday 16 and Monday 17 March instead. This is due to a reading week at the start of the action.
Striking staff will be on picket lines each day and are planning to organise teach outs for students and rallies in the city over the weeks of action. There will be a rally from 11.45am on Friday at University Square. Speakers will include Liverpool Wavertree MP, Paula Barker, as well as staff and students.
The disputes centre on changes to USS pensions and universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.
UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: ‘It is incredibly frustrating that UCU members are being forced to walk out again to secure fair pay, conditions and pensions. This unprecedented level of action shows just how angry staff are at their universities’ refusal to negotiate properly with us.
‘If universities want to avoid continued disruption then they need to get their representatives back to the negotiating table with serious options to resolve these disputes.’
UCU members at the three institutions were among staff at 60 universities who walked out for eight days of strikes before Christmas. They will be joined this week by staff at another 14 institutions, as more UCU branches crossed a 50% turnout threshold required by law for them to take industrial action.
The number of universities being hit by the action is the largest since a nationwide two-day strike in 2016, while the number of strike days is unprecedented. Following the eight-day walkout before Christmas, this latest round of 14 strike days means the total number of walkouts will be 22 by March; higher than the previous record of 14 days in 2018.