UCEA statement on the UCU strikes

20 February 2020

A UCEA spokesperson said: 

“UCEA and its member universities always deeply regret any disruption, especially to students, caused by UCU’s strike action. These new 14 days of strike action called by UCU over its pay dispute is running at 69 of the UK universities which is in less than half of those universities that are party to the national pay negotiations. 

“The 8 days of UCU strike action between 25 November and 4 December 2019 resulted in just 29% of UCU members taking strike action at the affected universities*, representing just 5% of all staff in these institutions. 

“Early reports from universities suggest that turnout has fallen further in this strike period with limited disruption for most students. It will take time for universities to find out exactly how many scheduled classes have not taken place on a given day. Feedback also points to mixed support and impact across the minority of UK universities affected by the strikes and each university is of course focused on managing this period of disruption as best they can for their students.

“UCU’s demand for more than a 5% pay increase remains unaffordable with several universities reporting deficits in their latest accounts. UCEA has consulted all of its members in presenting new positive proposals addressing the important issues around employment in universities, focusing on casual employment, workload / mental health and gender pay gap/ ethnicity pay. UCU is urged to consult all of its members, including the vast majority not taking strike action, and present these positive proposals to them**.”


* 3 in 10 UCU members on strike during UCU’s eight-day action

** UCEA statement urging UCU to consult its members

For further information please contact: Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership  (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager (m.whittaker@ucea.ac.uk) on 020 7383 2444.