27 February 2020
UCEA statement following initial feedback from UCU’s strikes
A UCEA spokesperson said:
“UCEA contacted all 74 of the universities involved in the ongoing strike action relating to pay and working conditions for feedback on the first and second week of UCU’s 14-day strike action. Detailed responses were obtained from half* of the universities, with 78% of universities reporting low** overall impact in the first week of strike action. This figure increased to 91% in week two.
“In responding to the questions of turnouts from UCU members, 84% of universities reported a ‘low’ turnout in week one with a similar (83%) response in the second week.
“In the first week, 68% of universities reported that during this strike turnout and activity on campus was lower than in the 8 days of UCU strike action between 25 November and 4 December 2019***. The remaining 32% reported that it was similar to the last strike action. In week two, more universities (79%) reported that the impact was lower than last year’s strike.
“UCEA and UCU met this week and held constructive discussions on the dispute on pay and related matters. Talks are ongoing.”
* 37 universities in week 1 and 35 universities in week 2. The EIS 5-day strike action is being spread over the same time period as UCU’s.
** Universities were asked if the ‘overall impact’ was ‘low’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’. The remaining 22% were nearly all medium, but some did report ‘medium to high’. By week 2 all remaining 19% (those note reporting ‘low’) universities reported ‘medium’.
*** 3 in 10 UCU members on strike during UCU’s eight-day action
Detailed figures for this period of action will not be available until all employers collate information about the numbers of their employees who have taken strike action. UCEA will collate these data in due course, as it has with previous sector-level disputes.
UCEA represents 147 universities in 2019-20 pay, covers 325,000.
Half of universities (74 of the 147 universities) have UCU members striking over ‘pay and conditions’
UCU and EIS (but not UNISON, Unite and GMB) achieved sufficient support for strikes.
These collective negotiations began March 2019 for uplifts to apply from August.
For further information please contact: Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager (email@example.com
) on 020 7383 2444.