As you may have seen, UCU has announced 14 further strike days across 74 UK universities.

The timetable has been designed to escalate and provide opportunities for management to conclude negotiations and end the dispute.

The dates for Queen Mary are:

  • Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February (QMUL week 5)
  • Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February (QMUL week 6)
  • Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March (QMUL week 8)
  • Monday 16, Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18 & Thursday 19 March (QMUL week 9)

We know that this is a big ask. We understand that members are asking why now? Why is escalation necessary?

Briefly, across the country, university managers only listen when we strike.

On pay and conditions, the strike last term got the employers to the negotiating table to discuss issues that they have previously refused to discuss: workload, casualisation and the gender and race pay gaps.

On pensions, we would now be on defined contributions only if not for our strike two years ago.

The JEP 2 pensions report was released last month and stated that:

  • We should have more power over how our pensions are managed
  • JEP 1 recommendations regarding the valuation methodology should be implemented in full and, if implemented, the USS pension scheme is healthy with no increase in contributions.

This is a massive win considering that employers called the scheme unsustainable two years ago.

To allay some of the financial pressure that strike action places on our members, there are two hardship funds—one national and one local—that are available for all members who may need financial support.

Financial Support for Strikers

Between the two funds, between £50 and 75 per strike day is available, covering all strike days. Read more details on our hardship fund page.

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