UCU recently balloted their members for industrial action in relation to two issues: changes to the USS pension scheme (implemented in April 2022) and pay and associated issues. The outcome across the sector was to vote in favour of strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS) in both ballots.
Strike action will take place on Thursday 24, Friday 25, and Wednesday 30 November 2022. Further strike dates may be notified in due course.
We have also been notified of Action Short of a Strike, which is intended to be continuous, and will start on Wednesday 23 November 2022, and may continue until 20 April 2023 (when the current ballot mandate expires).
Our key objective is, as far as possible, to ensure our students are able to achieve their learning outcomes and maintain their access to learning.
We fully understand that the outcome of the 2022 pay negotiations and the recent changes to USS are important issues that concern many of our staff, especially given the current cost of living pressures.
We are aware that the decision to vote in favour of industrial action has not been taken lightly by UCU members. However, we are disappointed by this outcome given the impact this will have on our students, many of whom may have been impacted by industrial action and/or the pandemic for several years. Our key objective is, as far as possible, to ensure our students are able to achieve their learning outcomes and maintain their access to learning. Separate guidance will be issued to academic departments and to students in due course, including the long-standing Mitigation Policy which outlines various ways that mitigations can be put in place to reduce the impact on education by those participating in industrial action.
Pay and pensions are subject to national negotiations in which Durham University actively participates. We continue to liaise closely with UCEA on national pay negotiations and with UUK, on matters related to USS, to ensure we exercise what influence we do have on both issues.
In May we worked alongside our Trade Unions to agree a programme of priority activities. Those activities are all underway, ongoing or complete. For example, since May we have improved our family friendly benefits and we are now underway with a Workload Steering Group which includes colleagues from across the University, trade union representatives and volunteers who responded to an open call.
If you have a question about industrial action at Durham, contact us using the email link below. We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days of receipt.