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UK: Strikes of higher education staff

On 25 November, the Guardian reported about strikes of university lecturers and other staff across UK higher education. The action, coordinated by the University and College Union (UCU), is to take eight days and might even extend into the new year in a new round of strikes if present demands of staff will not be met. Tens of thousands of staff of universities all over the UK walked out on Monday, according to the labour union. In addition, large demonstrations were being held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Bristol and Manchester.

Staff on strike and their supporters are protesting over pay cuts, increased pension costs and deteriorating working conditions, according to the Guardian. The present one is the second time major industrial action at UK universities in under two years. Labour’s shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, addressed students and staff at the University of Manchester. She promised that under a Labour government, there would be no need to go on strike. “You will not need to be on the picket line because I will be working with you, not against you”, Rayner said.

It appears that the majority of students are in solidarity with their lecturers. But there are also fears that some students might ask for financial compensation for eight days’ of teaching lost.

The Guardian