Ballot results mean 74 universities could now be hit with industrial action

The number of UK universities that could be hit with strike action this term now stands at 74 following a series of reballots in disputes over pensions, and over pay and conditions. UCU members at 60 universities walked out for eight days between Monday 25 November and Wednesday 4 December. Staff at another 14 universities can now join them in further action after UCU members at those institutions backed industrial action and, crucially, passed the punitive 50% legal turnout threshold.

Overall, 80% of members backed strikes over pensions, while 76% voted for strike action over pay, workloads, casualisation and equality. The union’s higher education committee met on Thursday to consider the results, listen to updates and discuss next steps in the two disputes. Further details on what the committee decided are expected imminently.

The Guardian said the results would be a significant boost to the union, particularly as the 14 institutions included influential players such as King’s College London and Imperial College London.

Speaking to Times Higher Education, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said the union and its members “have been clear from the outset that we are prepared to take serious and sustained action to defend pay and conditions, as well as our pensions, and these latest ballot results show that members are just as determined as ever’.


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