Union begins five-day strike at University of Northampton in continuing dispute over pay and conditions

Students facing third round of industrial action this academic year

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 21st March 2022, 3:14 pm

More than 200 University of Northampton staff are stepping up industrial action in a row over pay and conditions.

The 231 members of the University and College Union — around ten percent of the UoN staff — were among staff at 40 universities set to begin a five-day walkout on Monday (March 21).

This is the third round of strike action this academic year after ballots in 2021.

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More than 200 staff at University of Northampton are set to start a five-day walkout on Monday

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: "Vice-chancellors across the UK have the power to end this dispute.

"The money is there to pay staff properly and tackle punishing working conditions. Instead, university bosses are choosing to sit on reserves worth tens of billions of pounds and make their own staff suffer.

"That’s why we are out on picket lines yet again.

'By continuing to ignore the long-standing and serious concerns of staff, vice chancellors are not only pushing their own workforce to breaking point, but also doing serious harm to the future of higher education and preventing it from being the best it can be.’

Staff at Northampton recently took five of strike action over two weeks between February 21 and March 2 and also walked out for three days in December.

Ballots on further action are due to close on April 8.

The union claims that inflation running at 7.8 per cent means staff pay has fallen by 25.5 percent in real terms since 2009.

They are demanding a £2,500 pay rise plus action over academics employed on insecure contracts, gender pay gaps in UK universities and tackling unmanageable workloads.

Children's and adolescent's mental health student Sophie Parrish said "The impact is huge. We can't contact lecturers, grades have been delayed and it's affecting a lot of people's mental health."

A UoN spokesperson said: “Strike action on UK campuses over the past month has been limited with as few as a quarter of UCU branch members participating at some universities, according to the latest national data.

"The University of Northampton however regrets any disruption caused by those UCU members who have decided to participate in industrial action and will continue dialogue with our union representatives.”

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