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Lecturers at 4 Welsh Universities begin biggest ever strike

22 February, 2018, 12:10 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Protesters hold banners outside the University of London

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are planning 14 days of action this month and in March, building towards a week-long walkout by staff.

Lecturers at Ulster University and Queen's will begin strike action today.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 64 United Kingdom institutions are staging the first in a series of strikes after voting in favour of industrial action.

The dispute centres over a proposal which would see the defined benefit element - where staff receive a guaranteed income - replaced by one dependent on market changes.

A recent ballot saw more than four-fifths of UCU members back strike action in a 63% turnout in Scotland. Up to a million students will be affected, with half a million teaching hours lost.

Union officials are meeting on March 2 to discuss the response from universities to the industrial action, and Ms Hunt has warned that if the dispute is not settled then "nothing is off the table".

Universities UK says it remains at the negotiating table and believes that around 16% of academic staff that are UCU members in the affected UK institutions voted in favour of strike action.

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The union said striking staff will be on picket lines from 7am at the main university entrances, including University Way, Falmer House, Southern Ring Road and Knight's Gate Road entrances.

Tutors have been advised by their union to keep quiet about whether or not they are walking out to "ensure the strike is effective in disrupting university operations".

Universities UK said that without pension reform universities would no choice but to implement cutbacks.

At Cardiff University 3,900 students have signed a petition.

The spokesman continued: "The changes proposed will make USS secure and sustainable, safeguarding the future of universities".

A spokesperson for the University of Sussex said: "Our focus is on minimising any disruption to our students' education".

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