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University staff ballot on further strike action

HIGHER education staff are set to be balloted for more national strike action over cuts to pay and pensions, the University and College Union (UCU) has confirmed.

Its 80,000 members at 149 universities across Britain will be consulted later this summer, the union’s higher education committee announced at the end of last week, with possible walkouts to follow in November. 

Further ballots could then be held to authorise more strikes in spring 2023, the union said. 

Institutions nationwide have already been hit by 15 days of industrial action this year, while about 40 are still holding marking boycotts.  

The UCU confirmed that the new ballots will be aggregated, meaning that an overall turnout of at least 50 per cent and a majority Yes vote will trigger walkouts at every university across Britain.

“Time is running out” for employers to reverse a 35 per cent cut to the USS pensions scheme and a real-terms wage fall of more than fifth since 2010, it warned. 

General secretary Jo Grady said: “The university sector is worth tens of billions of pounds — it can more than afford to meet the demands of staff.”

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