Staff vote for five day industrial action over pay and working conditions
A picket at the university during previous strike action. Picture: Roehampton UCU
September 8, 2023
Members of staff at the University of Roehampton who are members of the University and College Union (UCU) have voted for renewed strike action later this month.
They will be joining employees at 140 institutions across the country in a dispute over pay and working conditions.
The strike will be held on five consecutive days from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September.
The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has made a pay award for the current year which the union says is worth just 5% for most of its members. The union is also demanding action on what it describes as gig-economy employment practices and high workloads.
The union has withdrawn its marking and assessment boycott which was ongoing since Thursday 20 April. It will begin reballoting members shortly to allow it to escalate the dispute by taking further action this year and into 2024. Staff are continuing other forms of industrial action, including working to rule, not undertaking any voluntary activities, and not rescheduling lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady said, ‘We are left with no option but to strike during the start of term because our members refuse to stand by while pay is eroded and staff are shunted onto gig-economy contracts.
‘It is shameful that vice-chancellors still refuse to settle the dispute despite a year of unprecedented disruption, and have instead imposed a pay award that staff overwhelmingly rejected. Universities are richer than ever, generating tens of billions of pounds in income and hoarding billions more in cash deposits. But they won’t give staff their fair share, a pay award of 5% is a huge real-terms pay cut and is substantially lower than school teachers received.
‘We have sought to settle this dispute at every opportunity, including agreeing to a joint review of sector finances, but we are faced with employers that want to see staff and students suffer. We desperately hope vice-chancellors realise we are going nowhere without a fair settlement and make us a realistic offer. If they do not, campuses will be marred by picket lines during fresher’s week, and we will launch a new strike ballot allowing us to take action well into 2024.’
We have asked the University of Roehampton for comment.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact email@example.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.