Industrial action

Sussex University offers students up to £100 for strike distress | Education

The University of Sussex is offering students up to £100 if they suffered “distress and inconvenience” during recent strikes, becoming the first British university to give compensation to students in the middle of industrial action. The move is a sign of the increasing efforts by universities to resolve student complaints swiftly and head off action through the courts or regulators that could lead to more damaging penalties. Sussex launched its “industrial action ex gratia scheme” this week, with an email…

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Staff warn of ‘intimidatory’ tactics at Liverpool University after strike | Education

The University of Liverpool has told staff who went on strike over pay and pensions this week that they must catch up on missed work or risk penalties, despite already having their pay deducted over the eight-day industrial action. In an email sent by pro vice-chancellor Gavin Brown, members of the University and College Union were told that failure to reschedule teaching missed during the strike period would represent partial performance of their contracts, which “the university does not accept”.…

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I’m striking because insecure academic contracts are ruining my mental health | Sarah Darley | Education

This week, staff in 60 universities across the UK have been on an eight-day strike over pensions, pay and employment conditions. This has included growing casualisation in universities – which, as a researcher employed on a fixed-term contract, is my life. I’m not alone. A recent University and College Union (UCU) survey reported that 70% of the 49,000 researchers in higher education are currently employed on fixed-term contracts, as are 37,000 teaching staff (the majority of whom are paid hourly).…

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Students protest against Liverpool university’s claim that support for strike is ‘unlawful’ | Education

Students at the University of Liverpool blocked senior managers from entering their offices this morning in protest at an email sent by the university warning students that it is “unlawful” for them to join pickets in support of striking lecturers. The blockade took place on the fifth day of strikes over pay and pensions involving 60,000 members of the University and College Union. The students erected barriers in front of doors and put up banners voicing students’ solidarity. The blockade…

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International students crossing picket lines ‘out of fear of losing visas’ | Education

Campaigners against hostile environment policies in higher education are calling on universities to suspend monitoring of international students’ attendance during strike action, because of growing fears their visas will be at risk if they choose not to cross picket lines. Responding to a call-out to Guardian readers about ongoing industrial action in 60 universities across the UK, a number of international students said they were supportive of strike action but worried about failing to comply with attendance requirements with potential…

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University strike: tens of thousands of staff walk out across UK | Education

Universities across the UK are facing widespread disruption after tens of thousands of lecturers and other staff walked out on strike in protest over pay cuts, increased pension costs and deteriorating conditions. Union leaders reported a strong show of support on Monday for the industrial action, which will last eight days and could extend into the new year with a second wave of strikes if staff demands are not met. Pickets had been set up at 60 universities that are…

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Union warns of further strikes in universities row | Education

University students in the UK are facing disruption to their studies in the last few weeks of term and into the new year after union leaders warned of a second wave of strike action if staff demands are not met. More than 40,000 university staff at 60 universities are preparing to go on strike for eight days from next Monday, followed by a period of work to rule, in protest over their pensions, pay and conditions. But with no progress…

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University staff don’t want to strike for fair pensions and pay, but we’re being forced to | Jo Grady | Education

Earlier this week, the University and College Union (UCU) announced that staff in 60 universities across the UK will abandon their offices, libraries, seminar rooms and lecture theatres for eight days of strike action beginning on 25 November. The strikes are the result of two ongoing disputes in higher education: one on pay, job security, workload and equality, and one on changes to Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pensions. Although these are separate disputes, they speak to a common theme. Over…

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‘Angry’ university workers vote in favour of industrial action | Education

Disillusioned university workers have voted in support of strike action on campuses across the UK following separate ballots over pensions, pay and working conditions. The University and College Union (UCU) said the result was a serious indictment of the state of higher education, and demonstrated the depth of anger and frustration among those working in the sector, many of whom are on low-paid temporary contracts. The union urged universities to address members’ concerns and warned that if they failed to…

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Teachers strike again over pupil violence in Birmingham | Education

Teachers have gone on strike for a second time at a school rated outstanding by Ofsted, where they say pupils carry knives, threaten staff and fight in the corridors. Staff at Starbank school in Birmingham, which has more than 2,000 students, said they did not feel safe after receiving physical and verbal threats. The second day of strike action follows a walkout last week, with union members saying the school has not done enough to help teachers deal with poor…

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UK universities told to compensate students over campus strikes | Education

A group of British universities have been told to pay compensation for failing to make up for teaching hours lost during last year’s wave of campus strike action by lecturers and other staff. The payouts, each worth hundreds of pounds, were ordered by the higher education ombudsman for England and Wales in a string of cases where students complained they had missed out on lectures and seminars or suffered distress from the university’s response. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator…

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