National Strikes continue across Universities

By Lily Morris

Lecturers part of the University and College Union (UCU) are continuing their strikes this month, with lessons paused in universities across the country. Strikes at the University of Essex are taking place over two periods totalling ten days, up to Wednesday 2 March.

The UCU has been carrying out strike action since February 2018, with annual strikes since then. The union has cited universities’ failure to improve pay, equality, and workloads as motivation behind the strike action.

Continued concerns over pension cuts and the final pay award offer – as part of recent national pay negotiations – prompted the most recent round of strikes, affecting over a million students across 68 universities.

The UCU’s strike action has been supported by campus union Unison and the National Union of Students (NUS), which is holding a strike of their own on 2 March, calling for free higher education and for improved working conditions, pay and pensions for staff.

UCU lecturers at the University of Essex were unavailable for comment.