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Strikes could be extended to disrupt exams if pension dispute not resolved

Strikes by members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) which are set to begin on Thursday, could be extended to disrupt exams and graduation ceremonies if the dispute over pensions is not resolved.

Sally Hunt, the UCU General Secretary, told the Guardian: “We are keeping the channels of communication open. There is no sign they intend to shift. There will be significant strike action from Thursday. It will be ongoing until we find a resolution.”

Lecturers at 61 universities and colleges voted in favour of strike action last month following proposed reforms to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) which determines their pensions.

At Warwick, 463 of 816 UCU members voted – with 93.6% of those voting in favour of industrial action.

With negotiations continuing to stall even following the confirmation of strikes, the UCU has reaffirmed that its mandate for industrial action is valid for six months, and that it may choose to target examinations and graduation ceremonies if progress is not made.

The series of escalating strikes currently planned are set to begin on Thursday 22 February and Friday 23, increasing in length through Week 8 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), Week 9 (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and Week 10 (all week).

Campaigns have been set up by students at Warwick to have tuition fees reimbursed due to the strike, although the University has announced that it does not expect to refund students.

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Comments (1)

  • Found in the motion supporting strikes passed at the ASM “This Union Believes – That… industrial action is likely to minorly affect students in the short-term…’. Maybe we should tell those third-years who may not be able to graduate, or those taking exams that, “Don’t worry, the effects of the strikes to you are minor”.

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