University of Sunderland Strikes: More action planned unless a better offer is put forward.
Written by Declan Mccourt on 8th December 2022
Lecturers at the University of Sunderland are promising more strike action in the new year if employers don’t give them a better offer for pay and pensions.
The statement was made just days after a series of strikes took place last month and vowed that if employers don’t respond to the UCU’s concerns over pay, pensions and working conditions there will be further action in early 2023.
“If they don’t respond with meaningful talks and a better offer, we will take renewed and escalating action in the new year”, said a UCU representative at the University.
The strikes took place throughout the latter portion of November this year with over 70,000 staff members from over 150 campuses across the UK walking from the classroom in solidarity.
This strike action was felt across the country, including right here in Sunderland: “We had the most successful strike action ever at Sunderland, with very high levels of participation and picketing in the cold.”
Employers had initially offered a pay rise of 3%, but with inflation at 12% and climbing the proposed increase was rejected. What’s more, staff are claiming that fixed-term contracts are on the rise and that this is negatively affecting their mental health.
A press release from the UCU said: “Employers have failed to take effective action to tackle issues of excessive workload, rising casualisation and persistent inequality in pay.”
The three planned strikes from the UCU took place on November 24, 25 and 30, each of which saw universities and colleges across the country grind to a halt and an estimated 2.5 million students affected nationally, close to 17,000 of which are at the University of Sunderland alone.
A statement released by the University of Sunderland had this to say: “We will be taking all reasonable steps to mitigate the impact of any industrial action on our students and any other scheduled activities at the University.”
The UCU’s official website has said that urgent negotiations are set to take place throughout all of December and January in the hopes of resolving the matter without further strike action but hasn’t ruled out the possibility.