University strikes are happening again with three Liverpool institutions joining in with industrial action

From December 1-3, 58 universities across the country will be hit with strike action.

Three Liverpool education providers are taking part in the dispute: the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Hope University and The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA).

Uni of Liverpool staff are striking over both pay and pensions and Hope University are striking over pay only.

LIPA is one of six universities who are seeing action short of strike, over pay.

This term means that their staff will be working strictly to contract and taking on no additional duties.

“A resolution to this

dispute is simple”

The general secretary of the UCU, Jo Grady, talked about the need for industrial action and how it is needed for universities to take staff concerns seriously.

She said: “A resolution to this dispute is simple.

“But if employers remain intent on slashing pensions and exploiting staff who have kept this sector afloat during a pandemic then campuses will face strike action before Christmas, which will escalate into spring with re-ballots and further industrial action.”

There have already been multiple strikes this year, in May/June, August and September.

Lucy, 19, a second-year law student at University of Liverpool, spent her first year of university completely online and was greatly affected by the assessment and marking boycott.

She said: “It’s really frustrating I only have two contact hours a week anyway for one of my modules and this week I have none because of the strikes.”

The National Union of Students national president Larissa Kennedy is attempting to get the message across to students that they should be supporting the strikes if they want to minimise disruption in the future.

She said: “Many postgraduate students who are on casualised teaching contracts will be striking.

“The onus for minimising disruption for students lies with university bosses: they must come back to the table to address the clear issues in how higher education is currently run.”

The UCU balloted Liverpool John Moores University over pay and working conditions but LJMU didn’t get over the ballot threshold so there won’t be strike action before Christmas, however the staff are going to be re-balloted before December 1.

Universities UK represents employers in the pensions talks. It said the strike was supported by only a minority of staff and blamed “members of the influential UCU Left faction” for the breakdown of talks.

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