University Staff Strike With Teachers On February 1
Unions Hold Joint Rally In London Amid Strike Action
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University Staff Strike With Teachers On February 1

Jasmyne Jeffery January 18, 2023

The University and College Union have confirmed that staff across 150 universities in the UK will be striking on February 1. Also striking that day are teachers and train drivers. The university staff strikes add to the three days of industrial action taken at the end of 2022. Students will want to know if universities will close due to the strikes.

The UCU has confirmed that the first of 18 strike days for university staff will take place on February 1. It is expected that 70,000 members of the union will be striking on the day. This is after ongoing disputes on pay, pension and working conditions. The UK has seen a huge amount of industrial action over the last few months. Sectors involved included, but are not limited to, nursing, postal workers and teaching.

UCU Confirms 18 Days Of Industrial Action

The UCU has confirmed that striking action on February 1 will be the first of 18 days of industrial action taking place throughout February and March. The dates of these university staff strikes are yet to be announced.

Five other unions have also said they will be taking industrial action on that day, heavily in response to the prime minister’s wishes to impose strict anti-strike precautions going forward.

University staff were offered a pay rise worth 3 per cent which the union does not believe is enough. Instead, the UCU are demanding a more “meaningful” pay rise. Last week, they rejected the 4-5 per cent offer the Universities and Colleges Employers Association as it was not enough.

According to the House of Commons, inflation currently stands at 14 per cent. Pay rises have been well below this.

Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images

Will Universities Close For Strikes?

There has been no confirmation that any UK universities will be closing due to the university staff strikes.

However, disruption should be expected as 70,000 university employees will be taking industrial action. These will affect 150 universities across the UK but this does not necessarily mean your lecturer will not be in and your class cancelled.

It will be up to the individual universities to decide whether the disruption caused means there will be closures.

The UCU does not just cater to lecturers and teachers but includes administration, library and other staff that help universities run day to day. More than likely, students will find that certain aspects of their university may be limited on strike days.

Your university will give you ample notice of any planned closures.

Teachers Are Also Striking

Teacher strikes are also being held on February 1, with two more days confirmed for 15 and 16 March for England and Wales.

The NEU has confirmed that their strike will affect almost 24,000 schools across the UK. Many parents rely on schools for childcare as well as education. The disruption this industrial action will cause is expected to be more significant.

However, head teachers will be expected to keep schools open to their best efforts, as told by the Department of Education.

Other days of teacher strikes are taking place regionally throughout February and Marc. Currently, there are 6 days of industrial action already confirmed.

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Jasmyne Jeffery is a full-time Entertainment and News Writer on university-themed website Freshered and HITC, and joined the company having previously worked in a freelance role. She attended the University of South Wales where she was also a student blogger and graduated in 2022 with a first-class honours degree in English and Creative Writing. Now, she puts her creativity to use reviewing university bars, Love Island episodes and the latest apps any 18-25-year-old is using.