Lancaster and Edge Hill students will be hit by university strikes

Students at two Lancashire universities will be affected by eight days of strike action by staff.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 10:30 am
Lancaster University

Staff at Edge Hill and Lancaster universities are among 60 institutions across the country where members of the University and College Union (UCU) are planning a series of walkouts.

The first of eight days of strike action will start on Monday November 25 through to Wednesday 4 December.

Union members are in dispute is over pay and working conditions and rising pension costs.

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Edge Hill University

The issues centre on changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme and what they say is universities’ failure to make improvements on pay, equality, casualisation and workloads.

As well as eight strike days from November 25, union members will begin “action short of a strike” when they return to work.

This will involve things like working strictly to contract, not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

At the University of Lancaster, 84 per cent of UCU members polled voted for strikes over changes to USS pensions and 79 per cent backed strikes over pay and conditions.

Edge Hill saw 75 per cent of members polled backing the strikes.

The action has also been supported by the National Union of Students.

A spokesman at Lancaster said : Lancaster University values the high quality staff we have here. They help to make Lancaster the successful and vibrant university it is and we are committed to achieving the best possible and fairest pay and pension for staff, but it must be affordable and sustainable for the long term.

"We have a longstanding partnership agreement with our trade unions locally. However, this dispute has arisen nationally as a result of national pay and pension issues.

The impact of any industrial action on our students is very concerning, and colleagues across the university will be working hard to minimise disruption and ensure, as a priority, that students are supported in their studies and assessment. We will continue to have open dialogue with our campus trade unions to ensure we navigate this industrial action in a sensitive way."

A spokesman for Edge Hill added: " “The University and Colleges Union is in dispute with employers over a pay award that is negotiated nationally.

Whilst we respect and support the rights of staff to withdraw their labour, Edge Hill University hopes that the dispute can be resolved nationally without recourse to industrial action at the end of the month.”