Empty lecture theatres and silent seminar rooms were the scenes in many universities today as members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) started an eight-day strike in 60 UK universities.
The strikes, announced earlier this month are part of action in two different disputes impacting university lectures and support staff, including on pensions and on pay and conditions.
The strikes are set to impact around one million students, it is believed. Universities have been promising to do all they can to minimise the impact of the strikes, however, some students are currently facing 8 days of cancelled lectures, seminars and workshops that, in many cases, will not be rescheduled.
The UCU is unhappy with changes to the pension contributions of its members, with lecturers expected to be about £240,000 worse off in retirement according to the union. Meanwhile, some university staff are facing changes to their working conditions which they consider unfair, such as having to teach lectures until 7pm in the evening, for example.
The strikes are not the first by university staff – students also faced disruption recently due to strikes in 2018.
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