Second round of UCU strikes begin

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By Maddy Russell, News Editor

Staff at Bristol are joining members from 73 other institutions in fourteen days of strikes over pay and working conditions.

University teaching staff have now begun the second round of UCU strikes this academic year, following a dispute with employers over working conditions.

Earlier this month members of the UCU at Bristol announced that they would be joining 73 other institutions in strike action over the University's 'failure' to make significant improvements over pay, equality, 'casualisation' and workload.

UCU members gathered in the rain outside of the Victoria Rooms (Epigram/ Maddy Russell)

The dates affected by strike action are:

  • Thursday 20th February and Friday 21st February
  • Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th of February
  • Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th March
  • Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12th and Friday 13th March

During a rally attended by students and staff, outside the Victoria Rooms this morning, representatives for the UCU in the South West confirmed that they were willing 'to come to the table' for discussions once representatives from within the University sector were willing to accept 'meaningful' compromise.

Sheltering from the rain: staff and students gathered to listen to speeches from members of Bristol SU and UCU representatives (Epigram/Maddy Russell)

In a join statement, made earlier this month, Professor Tansy Jessop, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Experience said: 'These are important issues and we respect the right of our staff to take action.

'As positive progress is being made and talks are ongoing at a national level, we are therefore disappointed at the prospect of students' education being further disrupted by industrial action.

'We hope that even though the dispute may cause students uncertainty and anxiety, that wider strategies in place for wellbeing and education will enable students to keep communicating with their Schools and keep their studies on track.

As a University, we are proud of the way that we have worked with the local branch of UCU and the other trade unions to make things better for staff. We are open to continuing the conversation and being pro-active in addressing their concerns.'

Featured Image: Twitter/@Bristol_UCU


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