HE institutions’ early reports are of limited support and impact

1 December 2021

HE institutions’ early reports are of limited support and impact 

Raj Jethwa, UCEA’s Chief Executive said:

“We clearly regret any disruption, especially to students, caused by UCU’s industrial action. We anticipate the full impact will be mixed across the 54* HE institutions where action has been called, as the level of UCU membership varies greatly between both institution and department. We are disappointed that UCU is encouraging its members to take action which will impact on students who have endured so many recent disruptions

“While early reports from HE institutions are of low levels of disruption to teaching it does of course take time for these large organisations to find out exactly how many scheduled classes have not taken place on a given day. While some HE institutions cannot provide details at this time, others do not have any teaching scheduled. Each HE institution is of course fully focused on managing this period of disruption as best they can for their students.

“UCU members in these 54 institutions, and others, can be asked to strike again in the new year by the UCU’s HE Committee. But this action will cause damage to both union members and to students in what is an unrealistic attempt to force all 146 employers to re-open the concluded 2021-22 national pay round and improve on an outcome that is, for most of these institutions, already at the very limit of what is affordable.

“We respect employees’ right to take lawful industrial action but it is unrealistic and misleading to their members for UCU to ask them to lose 3 days’ pay in pursuit of an unrealistic 7% pay demand at just over one third of the HEIs in the collective pay arrangements.” 

*146 separate ballots were called supporting a national dispute over the outcome of the 2021-22 JNCHES pay. 54 were successful. The low ballot numbers follow a six-month period of delay since UCEA’s pay offer for UCU to prepare and campaign for strike action clearly targeting students during the autumn term.

For further information: Please contact Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership (a.fryer@ucea.ac.uk