UEA students face disruption as staff start eight-day strike

Staff at the University of East Anglia in Norwich will begin an eight-day strike on Monday over pens

Staff at the University of East Anglia in Norwich will begin an eight-day strike on Monday over pensions. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

University of East Anglia (UEA) students face disruption to their learning over the next two weeks as staff start an eight-day strike.

Up to 43,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 60 UK universities will walk out from Monday, affecting more than one million students in the run up to the Christmas break.

At the UEA staff supported a ballot to strike over pensions changes, while other university staff are simultaneously striking over pay and working conditions.

Picket lines will be mounted at campuses across the country, protests will be held and other forms of industrial action will be launched including not covering for absent colleagues and refusing to reschedule lectures lost to strike action.

Those going on strike include lecturers, student support services staff, admissions tutors, librarians, technicians and administrators.

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UCU general secretary Jo Grady warned that a second wave of strikes could be held in the new year if the deadlocked disputes remain unresolved.

University leaders said they would try to lessen the impact of the action and insist they want to work with the union to reach an agreement.

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But the UCU said staff had reached "breaking point" over a number of issues, including workloads, real-terms cuts in pay, a 15pc gender pay gap and changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), which the union says will leave members paying in more and receiving less in retirement.

The strikes will take place on five days this week, and again for three days from December 2.

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