Three days of strikes to hit Universities of Brighton and Sussex
Students at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex will have their learning disrupted by three days of staff strikes
Three consecutive days of strike action will hit 58 universities starting tomorrow (Wednesday) after university bosses and their representatives refused to withdraw pension cuts or address falling pay and worsening working conditions.
University and College Union (UCU) members at the Universities of Brighton and Sussex and the Institute of Development Studies will be on strike. Picket lines will be held outside main university entrances on each of the three strike days.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "It is deeply regrettable that staff have been forced into taking industrial action again, but sadly university bosses have shown little interest in negotiating in good faith and addressing the serious concerns of staff over falling pay, massive pension cuts, equality pay gaps and the rampant use of insecure contracts.
"The truth is that staff are asking for the bare minimum in a sector awash with money. But sadly, the only time vice chancellors seem to listen is when staff take action, and those leading our universities should not underestimate their determination to change this sector for the better.
"We are grateful to all the students who are supporting staff taking industrial action because they understand that staff working conditions are student learning conditions. Vice-chancellors now need to concentrate on asking themselves why strikes have become an annual occurrence and seek to resolve this dispute in order to avoid more needless disruption to learning. If they continue to ignore the modest demands of staff then we will be forced to take further industrial action in the new year, which even more branches will join."
Last month UCU members at 58 institutions backed strike action in two separate ballots, one over pension cuts and one over pay & working conditions.
Research by the National Union of Students shows 73% of students support university staff taking strike action.
A University of Sussex spokesperson said: "This industrial action has been called over national issues and we respect the rights of our staff who are taking part. For everyone affected, we really hope that a resolution can be found quickly. Here at Sussex, our overwhelming focus and a huge amount of effort is going into minimising disruption to our students’ education and keeping university services running.”