University staff in Leeds and Bradford to go on eight days of strikes in walkout over pay

Union members at Leeds and Bradford universities are to go on eight days of strikes in a row over pay and working conditions.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 6:00 am
The University of Leeds' Parkinson Building

Striking staff will be on the picket lines outside the main entrances to the University of Leeds and University of Bradford from Monday onwards.

It's after the University and College Union (UCU) and representatives for the institutions failed to reach an agreement over pensions, salaries and working conditions.

The UCU has accused universities of 'playing games' after their representatives allegedly refused to discuss pay, and that they again failed to make a serious offer in talks about changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme on Wednesday.

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Union members at strikes outside the University of Leeds in February 2018

According to the union, many staff have not seen their salaries rise in accordance with the rising costs of living, and universities have not done enough to tackle the issues of equality, casualisation and workloads.

There are also disputes around changes to pensions.

In February 2018, union members took unprecedented strike action causing chaos across campuses in a similar dispute over pensions.

The UCU has said it fears universities have 'learnt nothing' since last year's strikes.

Union members at the University of Bradford are also partaking in the strikes

Alongside Leeds and Bradford, the University of York will also be affected by the strikes next week.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: "Strike action is a last resort, but universities’ refusal to deal with these key issues have left us with no alternative. It is staggering and insulting that universities have not done more to work with us to try and find a way to resolve these disputes.

"We hope students will continue to put pressure on university vice-chancellors to get their representatives back round the negotiating table for serious talks with the union."